ja-a-ko’-ba, ja-ak’-o-ba (ya‘aqobhah, for meaning compare JACOB, I, 1, 2): 1Ch 4:36, a Simeonite prince.


ja’-a-la, ja-a’-la (ya‘ala’, meaning unknown, Ne 7:58) and (ya‘alah, "mountain goat" (?), Ezr 2:56): The name of a family of returned exiles, "children of Solomon’s servants" =" Jeeli" in 1 Esdras 5:33.


ja’-a-lam: the King James Version for JALAM (which see).


ja’-a-ni: the King James Version for JANAI (which see).


ja’-ar (ya‘ar, "forest" or "wood"): Is only once taken as a proper name (Ps 132:6 the Revised Version margin), "We found it in the field of Jaar." It may be a shortened form of the name Kiriath-jearim, where the ark had rested 20 years.



ja’-a-re-or’-e-jim, -or’e-gim (ya‘are’oreghim): In 2Sa 21:19, given as the name of a Bethlehemite, father of Elhanan, who is said to have slain Goliath the Gittite (compare 1Sa 17). The name is not likely to be a man’s name; the second part means "weavers" and occurs also as the last word of the verse in the Massoretic Text, so it is probably a scribal error here due to repetition. The first part is taken to be

(1) an error for ya‘ir (see JAIR), which is to be read in the parallel section in 1Ch 20:5;

(2) in 2Sa 23:24 Elhanan is the son of Dodo, also a Bethlehemite, and Klostermann would read here Dodai as the name of Elhanan’s father.

David Francis Roberts


ja-ar-e-shi’-a (ya‘areshyah, meaning unknown): In 1Ch 8:27, a Benjamite, "son" of Jeroham. The King James Version has "Jaresiah."


ja’-a-si, ja’-a-so.



ja-a’-si-el (ya‘asi’el, "God makes" (?)): In 1Ch 11:47, a Mezobaite, one of "the mighty men of the armies," and probably =" Jaasiel" of 1Ch 27:21, "the son of Abner," and a Benjamite tribal prince of David’s. the King James Version "Jasiel."


ja’-a-su (the Revised Version (British and American) and Kethibh, ya‘asu, meaning uncertain); (the Revised Version margin and Qere, ya‘asay), (the King James Version): In Ezr 10:37, one of those who had married foreign wives. Septuagint translates the consonantal text as a verb, kai epoiesan, "and they did." 1 Esdras 9:34 has "Eliasis."


ja-az-a-ni’-a (ya’azanyahu, in 2Ki 25:23; Eze 8:11; ya’azanyah, in Jer 35:3; Eze 11:1, "Yah hears"):

(1) In 2Ki 25:23, "son of the Maacathite," and one of the Judean "captains of the forces" who joined Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor appointed by Nebuchadrezzar over Judah, at Mizpah. He is the "Jezaniah" of Jer 40:8; 42:1. Though not mentioned by name, he was presumably one of those captains who joined Johnnan in his attack on Ishmael after the latter had slain Gedaliah (Jer 41:11-18). He is also the same as Azariah of Jer 43:2, a name read by the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus in 42:1 also. Jer 43:5 relates how Johnnan and his allies, Jaazaniah (= Azariah) among them, left Judah with the remnant, and took up their abode in Egypt.

(2) In Jer 35:3, son of Jeremiah (not the prophet), and a chief of the Rechabite clansmen from whose "staunch adherence to the precepts of their ancestor" Jeremiah "points a lesson for his own countrymen" (Driver, Jeremiah, 215).

(3) In Eze 8:11, son of Shaphan, and one of the seventy men of the ciders of Israel whom Ezekiel saw in a vision of Jerusalem offering incense to idols.

(4) In Eze 11:1, son of Azzur, and one of the 25 men whom Ezekiel saw in his vision of Jerusalem, at the East door of the Lord’s house, and against whose iniquity he was commanded to prophesy (11:1-13).

David Francis Roberts


ja’-a-zer (ya‘azer).



ja-a-zi’-a (ya‘aziyahu, "Yah strengthens"): In 1Ch 24:26,27, a Levite, "son" of Merari. But the Massoretic Text is corrupt. The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus reads (Ozeid), which some take to suggest Uzziah (compare 27:25); see Curtis, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Chronicles, 274-75; See Kittel, at the place.


ja-a’-zi-el (ya‘azi’el, "God strengthens"): In 1Ch 15:18, a Levite, one of the musicians appointed to play upon instruments at the bringing up of the ark by David. Kittel and Curtis, following the Septuagint (Ozeiel), read "Uzziel," the name they adopt for Aziel in 15:20, and for Jeiel in 16:5.


ja’-bal (yabhal, meaning uncertain): In Ge 4:20, a son of Lamech by Adah. He is called ‘the father of those who dwell in tents and (with) herds.’ So Gunkel, Gen3, 52, who says that the corresponding word in Arabic means "the herdsman who tends the camels." Skinner, Gen, 120, says that both Jabal and Jubal suggest yobhel, which in Phoenician and Hebrew "means primarily ‘ram,’ then ‘ram’s horn’ as a musical instrument, and finally ‘joyous music’ (in the designation of the year of Jubilee)." See also Skinner, Gen, 103, on the supposed connection in meaning with Abel.

David Francis Roberts


jab’-ok (yabboq, "luxuriant river"): A stream in Eastern Palestine first named in the history of Jacob, as crossed by the patriarch on his return from Paddan-aram, after leaving Mahanaim (Ge 32:22 ). On the bank of this river he had his strange conflict with an unknown antagonist. The Jabbok was the northern boundary of the territory of Sihon the Amorite (Nu 21:24). It is also named as the border of Ammon (De 3:16). It is now called Nahr ez-Zerqa, "river of blue," referring to the clear blue color of its water. It rises near to ‘Amman—Rabbath Ammon—and makes a wide circuit, flowing first to the East, then to the Northwest, until it is joined by the stream from Wady Jerash, at which point it turns westward, and flows, with many windings, to the Jordan, the confluence being just North of ed-Damiyeh. It drains a wider area than any other stream East of the Jordan, except the Yarmuk. The bed of the river is in a deep gorge with steep, and in many places precipitous, banks. It is a great cleft, cutting the land of Gilead in two. It is lined along its course by a luxuriant growth of oleander which, in season, lights up the valley with brilliant color. The length of the stream, taking no account of its innumerable windings, is about 60 miles. The mouth of the river has changed its position from time to time. In the lower reaches the vegetation is tropical. The river is fordable at many points, save when in full flood. The particular ford referred to in Ge 32 cannot now be identified.

W. Ewing


ja’-besh (yabhesh): A short form of JABESH-GILEAD (which see).


ja’-besh-gil’-e-ad (yabhesh gil‘adh; or simply yabhish, "dry"): A city East of the Jordan, in the deliverance of which from Nahash the Ammonite Saul’s military prowess was first displayed (1Sa 11:1 ). At an earlier time the inhabitants failed to share with their brethren in taking vengeance upon Benjamin. This laxity was terribly punished, only 400 virgins being spared alive, who afterward became wives to the Benjamites (Jud 21). The gratitude of the inhabitants to Saul was affectingly proved after the disaster to that monarch on Gilboa (1Sa 31). David, hearing of their deed, sent an approving message, and sought to win their loyalty to himself (2Sa 2:4 ). Robinson (Biblical Researches, III, 39) thought it might be represented by ed-Deir, about 6 miles from Pella (Fachil), on the southern bank of Wady Yabis. The distance from Pella agrees with the statement of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v.). Others (Oliphant, Land of Gilead, 277 f; Merrill, East of Jordan, 430, etc.) would identify it with the ruins of Meriamin, about 3 miles Southeast of Pella, on the North of Wady Yabis. The site remains in doubt; but the ancient name still lingers in that of the valley, the stream from which enters the Jordan fully 9 miles Southeast of Beisan.

W. Ewing


ja’-bez (ya‘bets, "sorrow" ("height)):

(1) Place: An unidentified town probably in the territory of Judah, occupied by scribes (1Ch 2:55). For an ingenious reconstruction of the passage see EB, under the word

(2) Person: The head of a family of Judah, noted for his "honorable" character, though "his mother bare him with sorrow" (1Ch 4:9,10), ya‘bets being interpreted as if it stood for ya‘tsebh, "he causes pain." The same play upon words recurs in his prayer, "that it be not to my sorrow!" His request was granted, "and the sorrow implied by his ominous name was averted by prayer" (Dummelow, in the place cited.).


ja’-bin (yabhin, "one who is intelligent," "discerning." The word may have been a hereditary royal title among the northern Canaanites. Compare the familiar usage of par‘oh melekh mitsrayim):

(1) "The king of Hazor," the leading city in Northern Palestine, who led an alliance against Joshua. He was defeated at the waters of Merom, his city was taken and he was slain (Jos 11:1-9).

(2) "The king of Canaan, that reigned (or had reigned) in Hazor." It is not clear whether he dwelt in Hazor or Harosheth, the home of Sisera, the captain of his host at the time of the story narrated in Jgs. He oppressed Israel in the days preceding the victory of Deborah and Barak. To the Israelites he must have been but a shadowy figure as compared with his powerful captain, Sisera, for the song makes no mention of him and there is nothing to indicate that he even took part in the battle that freed Israel (Jud 4:2,7,17,23,24 bis; Ps 83:9,10).

Ella Davis Isaacs


jab’-ne-el, jab’-ne (yabhne’el, "God is builder"; Septuagint Lebna, Swete reads Lemna; the Apocrypha has Iamnia, Iamneia):

(1) A town on the northern border of the land assigned to Judah, near the western sea, mentioned in connection with Ekron (Jos 15:11). The place is now represented by the modern village of Yebna which stands upon a hill a little to the South of the Nahr Rubin, about 12 or 13 miles South of Jaffa, on the road from there to Askelon, and about 4 miles from the sea. It had a port, now called Mina Rubin, a short distance South of the mouth of the river, some remains of which still exist. Its harbor was superior to that of Jaffa (PEFS, 1875, 167-68). It does not occur in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament except in the passage mentioned, but it appears under the form "Jabneh" (yabhneh) in 2Ch 26:6, as is evident from the mention of Gath and Ashdod in connection with it. The Septuagint reads Gemna (Jabneh) where the Hebrew reads wa-yammah, "even unto the sea," in Jos 15:46, where Ekron and Ashdod and other cities and villages are mentioned as belonging to Judah’s inheritance. Josephus (Ant., V, i, 22) assigns it to the tribe of Dan. We have no mention of its being captured by Joshua or occupied by Judah until the reign of Uzziah who captured it and demolished its wall, in connection with his war upon the Philistines (2Ch 26:6). The position of Jabneel was strong and was the scene of many contests, both in the period of the monarchy and that of the Maccabees. It is mentioned frequently in the account of the wars of the latter with the Syrians. It was garrisoned by the Seleucid kings, and served as a base for raiding the territory of Judah. When Judas Maccabeus defeated Gorgias and the Syrians he pursued them to the plains of Jabneel, but did not take the fortress (1 Macc 4:15). Gorgias was there attacked by the Jewish generals Joseph and Azarias, contrary to Judas’ orders, who were repulsed with loss (1 Macc 5:56-60; Josephus, Ant, XII, viii, 6). Apollonius occupied it for King Demetrius (1 Macc 10:69); and Cendebeus for Antiochus, and from there harassed the Jews (1 Macc 15:40). Judas burned the port and navy of Jabneel (2 Macc 12:8-9). It was taken by Simon in 142 BC (Josephus, Ant, XIII, vi, 7; BJ, I, ii, 2), together with Gazara and Joppa, but was restored to its inhabitants by Pompey in 62 BC (Ant., XIV, iv, 4), and was rebuilt by Gabinius in 57 BC (BJ, I, viii, 4). It was restored to the Jews by Augustus in 30 AD. Herod gave it to his sister Salome and she bequeathed it to Julia, the wife of Augustus (Ant., XVIII, ii, 2; BJ, II, ix, 1). The town and region were prosperous in Roman times, and when Jerusalem was besieged by Titus the Sanhedrin removed to Jabneel, and it afterward became the seat of a great rabbinical school (Milman, History of the Jews, II, 411-12), but was suppressed in the persecution under Hadrian. Antonius allowed it to be revived, but it was again suppressed because of hostile language on the part of the rabbis (ibid., 451-52). The Crusaders built there the castle of Ibelin, supposing it to be the site of Gath. It was occupied by the Saracens, and various inscriptions in Arabic of the 13th and 14th centuries have been found there (SWP, II, 441-42).

(2) A town of Naphtali mentioned in Jos 19:33, and supposed to be the site of the modern Yemma, Southwest of the sea of Galilee (SWP, I, 365). It is the Kefr Yama of the Talmud

H. Porter


ja’-kan (ya‘kan, meaning not known; the King James Version, Jachan): A chief of a family descended from Gad (1Ch 5:13).


ja’-kin (yakhin, "he will establish"):

(1) The 4th son of Simeon (Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15; Nu 26:12). In 1Ch 4:24 his name is given as "Jarib" (compare the King James Version margin, the Revised Version margin). "Jachinites," the patronymic of the family, occurs in Nu 26:12.

(2) Head of the 21st course of priests in the time of David (1Ch 24:17). It is used as a family name in 1Ch 9:10, and as such also in Ne 11:10, where some of the course are included in the list of those who, having returned from Babylon, willingly accepted the decision of the lot, and abandoned their rural retreats to become citizens and guardians of Jerusalem (Ne 11:1 f).

James Crichton


ja’-kin (yakhin, "he shall establish"; bo‘az, "in it is strength," 1Ki 7:15-22; 2Ki 25:16,17; 2Ch 3:15-17; Jer 52:17): These were the names of the two bronze pillars that stood before the temple of Solomon. They were not used in supporting the building; their appearance, therefore, must have been solely due to moral and symbolic reasons. What these are it is not easy to say. The pillars were not altar pillars with hearths at their top, as supposed by W.R. Smith (Religion of the Semites, 191, 468); rather they were "pillars of witness," as was the pillar that witnessed the contract between Jacob and Laban (Ge 31:52). At difficulty arises about the height of the pillars. The writers in Kings and Jeremiah affirm that the pillars before the porch were 18 cubits high apiece (1Ki 7:15; Jer 52:21), while the Chronicler states that they were 35 cubits (2Ch 3:15). Various methods have been suggested of reconciling this discrepancy, but it is more probable that there is a corruption in the Chronicler’s number. On the contruction of the pillars and their capitals, see TEMPLE. At the final capture of Jerusalem they were broken up and the metal of which they were composed was sent to Babylon (2Ki 25:13,16). In Ezekiel’s ideal temple the two pillars are represented by pillars of wood (Eze 40:49).

W. Shaw Caldecott


ja’-si-mus (Ant., XII, ix, 3).







(1) tannim, "jackals," the King James Version "dragons"; compare Arabic tinan, "wolf"; and compare tannin, Arab tinnin, "sea monster" or "monster" the English Revised Version "dragon" (Job 7:12; Ps 74:13; 148:7; Isa 27:1; 51:9; Jer 51:34), "serpent" (Ex 7:9,10,12; De 32:33; Ps 91:13), the King James Version "whale" (Ge 1:21; Job 7:12); but tannin, "jackals," the King James Version "sea monsters" (La 4:3), "jackal’s well," the King James Version "dragon well" (Ne 2:13), and tannim, "monster," the King James Version and the English Revised Version "dragon" (Eze 29:3; 32:2).

(2) ‘iyim, "wolves," the King James Version "wild beasts of the islands"; compare ‘i, plural iyim, "island"; also ‘ayyah, "a cry," ‘awah, "to cry," "to howl"; Arabic ‘auwa’," to bark" (of dogs, wolves, or jackals); ‘ibn ‘awa’, colloquially wawi, "jackal."

(3) tsiyim, "wild beasts of the desert."

(4) ‘ochim, "doleful creatures."

"Jackals" occurs as a translation of tannim, the King James Version "dragons," in Job 30:29; Ps 44:19; Isa 13:22; 34:13; 35:7; 43:20; Jer 9:11; 10:22; 14:6; 49:33; 51:37; of the feminine plural form tannoth in Mal 1:3, and of tannin in Ne 2:13 and La 4:3. Tannim is variously referred to a root meaning "to howl," and to a root meaning "to stretch out" trop. "to run swiftly, i.e. with outstretched neck and limb extended" (Gesenius). Either derivation would suit "wolf" equally as well as "jackal." The expression in Jer 10:22, "to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a dwelling-place of jackals," seems, however, especially appropriate of jackals. The same is true of Isa 34:13; Jer 9:11; 49:33, and 51:37.

The jackal (from Persian shaghal), Canis aureus, is found about the Mediterranean except in Western Europe. It ranges southward to Abyssinia, and eastward, in Southern Asia, to farther India. It is smaller than a large dog, has a moderately bushy tail, and is reddish brown with dark shadings above. It is cowardly and nocturnal. Like the fox, it is destructive to poultry, grapes, and vegetables, but is less fastidious, and readily devours the remains of others’ feasts. Jackals generally go about in small companies. Their peculiar howl may frequently be heard in the evening and at any time in the night. It begins with a high-pitched, long-drawn-out cry. This is repeated two or three times, each time in a higher key than before. Finally there are several short, loud, yelping barks. Often when one raises the cry others join in. Jackals are not infrequently confounded with foxes. They breed freely with dogs.

While tannim is the only word translated "jackal" in English Versions of the Bible, the words ‘iyim, tsiyim, and ‘ochim deserve attention. They, as well as tannim, evidently refer to wild creatures inhabiting desert places, but it is difficult to say for what animal each of the words stands. All four (together with benoth ya‘anah and se‘irim) are found in Isa 13:21,22: "But wild beasts of the desert (tsiyim) shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures (’ochim); and ostriches (benoth ya‘anah) shall dwell there, and wild goats (se‘irim) shall dance there. And wolves (’iyim) shall cry in their castles, and jackals (tannim) in the pleasant palaces."

In the King James Version ‘iyim (Isa 13:22; 34:14; Jer 50:39) is translated "wild beasts of the islands" (compare ‘iyim, "islands"). the King James Version margin has merely the transliteration iim, the Revised Version (British and American) "wolves," the Revised Version margin "howling creatures." Gesenius suggests the jackal, which is certainly a howler. While the wolf has a blood-curdling howl, it is much more rarely heard than the jackal.

Tsiyim (Ps 72:9; 74:14; Isa 13:21; 23:13; 34:14; Jer 50:39) has been considered akin to tsiyah, "drought" (compare ‘erets tsiyah, "a dry land" (Ps 63:1)), and is translated in the Revised Version (British and American) as follows: Ps 72:9, "they that dwell in the wilderness"; 74:14, "the people inhabiting the wilderness"; Isa 23:13, "them that dwell in the wilderness," the Revised Version margin "the beasts of the wilderness"; Isa 13:21; 34:14; Jer 50:39, "wild beasts of the desert." There would be some difficulty in referring tsiyim in Ps 72:9 to beasts rather than to men, but that is not the case in Ps 74:14 and Isa 23:13. "Wild cats" have been suggested.

‘Ochim, "doleful creatures," perhaps onomatopoetic, occurs only in Isa 13:21. The translation "owls" has been suggested, and is not unsuitable to the context.

It is not impossible that tannim and ‘iyim may be different names of the jackals. ‘Iyim, tsiyim, and tannim occur together also in Isa 34:13,14, and ‘iyim and tsiyim in Jer 50:39. Their similarity in sound may have much to do with their collocation. The recognized word for "wolf," ze’ebh (compare Arabic dhi’b), occurs 7 times in the Old Testament.


Alfred Ely Day


(‘en ha-tannin; Septuagint has pege ton sukon, "fountain of the figs"; the King James Version dragon well): A well or spring in the valley of Hinnom between the "Gate of the Gai" and the Dung Gate (Ne 2:13). No such source exists in the Wady er Rababi (see HINNOM, VALLEY OF) today, although it is very probable that a well sunk to the rock in the lower parts of this valley might strike a certain amount of water trickling down the valley-bottom. G.A. Smith suggests (Jerusalem, I, chapter iv) that this source may have arisen as the result of an earthquake, hence, the name "dragon," and have subsequently disappeared; but it is at least as likely that it received its name from the jackals which haunted this valley, as the pariah dogs do today, to consume the dead bodies which were thrown there.


E. W. G. Masterman




1. Form and Distribution

2. Etymology and Associations


1. As the Son of Isaac and Rebekah

2. As the Brother of Esau

3. As the Father of the Twelve


1. With Isaac in Canaan

2. To Aram and Back

3. In Canaan Again

4. Last Years in Egypt


1. Natural Qualities

2. Stages of Development

3. Attitude toward the Promise

4. How Far a "Type" of Israel


1. In the Old Testament

2. In the New Testament


1. Personification of the Hebrew Nation

2. God and Demi-God

3. Character of Fiction

I. Name.

1. Form and Distribution:

ya‘aqobh (5 times ya‘aqowbh); Iakob, is in form a verb in the Qal imperfect, 3rd masculine singular. Like some 50 other Hebrew names of this same form, it has no subject for the verb expressed. But there are a number of independent indications that Jacob belongs to that large class of names consisting of a verb with some Divine name or title (in this case ‘El) as the subject, from which the common abbreviated form is derived by omitting the subject.

(a) In Babylonian documents of the period of the Patriarchs, there occur such personal names as Ja-ku-bi, Ja-ku-ub-ilu (the former doubtless an abbreviation of the latter), and Aq-bu-u (compare Aq-bi-a-hu), according to Hilprecht a syncopated form for A-qu(?)-bu(-u), like Aq-bi-ili alongside of A-qa-bi-ili; all of which may be associated with the same root ‘aqabh, as appears in Jacob (see H. Ranke, Early Babylonian Personal Names, 1905, with annotations by Professor Hilprecht as editor, especially pp. 67, 113, 98 and 4).

(b) In the list of places in Palestine conquered by the Pharaoh Thutmose III appears a certain J’qb’r, which in Egyptian characters represents the Semitic letters ya‘aqobh-’el, and which therefore seems to show that in the earlier half of the 15th century BC (so Petrie, Breasted) there was a place (not a tribe; see W. M. Muller, Asien und Europa, 162 ff) in Central Palestine that bore a name in some way connected with "Jacob." Moreover, a Pharaoh of the Hyksos period bears a name that looks like ya‘aqobh-’el (Spiegelberg, Orientalische Literaturzeitung, VII, 130).

(c) In the Jewish tractate Pirqe Abhoth, iii.l, we read of a Jew named ‘Aqabhyah, which is a name composed of the same verbal root as that in Jacob, together with the Divine name Yahu (i.e. Yahweh) in its common abbreviated form. It should be noted that the personal names ‘Aqqubh and Ya‘aqobhah (accent on the penult) also occur in the Old Testament, the former borne by no less than 4 different persons; also that in the Palmyrene inscriptions we find a person named ‘ath‘aqobh, a name in which this same verb ‘aqabh is preceded by the name of the god ‘Ate, just as in ‘Aqabhyah it is followed by the name Yahu.

2. Etymology and Associations:

Such being the form and distribution of the name, it remains to inquire: What do we know of its etymology and what were the associations it conveyed to the Hebrew ear?

The verb in all its usages is capable of deduction, by simple association of ideas, from the noun "heel." "To heel" might mean:

(a) "to take hold of by the heel" (so probably Ho 12:3; compare Ge 27:36);

(b) "to follow with evil intent," "to supplant" or in general "to deceive" (so Ge 27:36; Jer 9:4, where the parallel, "go about with slanders," is interesting because the word so translated is akin to the noun "foot," as "supplant" is to "heel");

(c) "to follow with good intent," whether as a slave (compare our English "to heel," of a dog) for service, or as a guard for protection, hence, "to guard" (so in Ethiopic), "to keep guard over", and thus "to restrain" (so Job 37:4);

(d) "to follow," "to succeed," "to take the place of another" (so Arabic, and the Hebrew noun ‘eqebh, "consequence," "recompense," whether of reward or punishment).

Among these four significations, which most commends itself as the original intent in the use of this verb to form a proper name? The answer to this question depends upon the degree of strength with which the Divine name was felt to be the subject of the verb As Jacob-el, the simplest interpretation of the name is undoubtedly, as Baethgen urges (Beitrage zur sem. Religionsgeschichte, 158), "God rewardeth" ((d) above), like Nathanael, "God hath given," etc. But we have already seen that centuries before the time when Jacob is said to have been born, this name was shortened by dropping the Divine subject; and in this shortened form it would be more likely to call up in the minds of all Semites who used it, associations with the primary, physical notion of its root ((a) above). Hence, there is no ground to deny that even in the patriarchal period, this familiar personal name Jacob lay ready at hand—a name ready made, as it were—for this child, in view of the peculiar circumstances of its birth; we may say, indeed, one could not escape the use of it. (A parallel case, perhaps, is Ge 38:28,30, Zerah; compare Zerahiah.) The associations of this root in everyday use in Jacob’s family to mean "to supplant" led to the fresh realization of its appropriateness to his character and conduct when he was grown ((b) above). This construction does not interfere with a connection between the patriarch Jacob and the "Jacob-els" referred to above (under 1, (b)), should that connection on other grounds appear probable. Such a longer form was perhaps for every "Jacob" an alternative form of his name, and under certain circumstances may have been used by or of even the patriarch Jacob.

II. Place in the Patriarchal Succession.

1. As the Son of Isaac and Rebekah:

In the dynasty of the "heirs of the promise," Jacob takes his place, first, as the successor of Isaac. In Isaac’s life the most significant single fact had been his marriage with Rebekah instead of with a woman of Canaan. Jacob therefore represents the first generation of those who are determinately separate from their environment. Abraham and his household were immigrants in Canaan; Jacob and Esau were natives of Canaan in the second generation, yet had not a drop of Canaanitish blood in their veins. Their birth was delayed till 20 years after the marriage of their parents. Rebekah’s barrenness had certainly the same effect, and probably the same purpose, as that of Sarah: it drove Isaac to Divine aid, demanded of him as it had of Abraham that "faith and patience" through which they "inherited the promises" (Heb 6:12), and made the children of this pair also the evident gift of God’s grace, so that Isaac was the better able "by faith" to "bless Jacob and Esau even concerning things to come" (Heb 11:20).

2. As the Brother of Esau:

These twin brothers therefore share thus far the same relation to their parents and to what their parents transmit to them. But here the likeness ceases. "Being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto (Rebecca), The elder shall serve the younger" (Ro 9:11,12). In the Genesis-narrative, without any doctrinal assertions either adduced to explain it, or deduced from it, the fact is nevertheless made as clear as it is in Malachi or Romans, that Esau is rejected, and Jacob is chosen as a link in the chain of inheritance that receives and transmits the promise.

3. As Father of the Twelve:

With Jacob the last person is reached who, for his own generation, thus sums up in a single individual "the seed" of promise. He becomes the father of 12 sons, who are the progenitors of the tribes of the "peculiar people." It is for this reason that this people bears his name, and not that of his father Isaac or that of his grandfather Abraham. The "children of Israel," the "house of Jacob," are the totality of the seed of the promise. The Edomites too are children of Isaac. Ishmaelites equally with Israelites boast of descent from Abraham. But the twelve tribes that called themselves "Israel" were all descendants of Jacob, and were the only descendants of Jacob on the agnatic principle of family-constitution.

III. Biography.

The life of a wanderer (De 26:5 the Revised Version, margin) such as Jacob was, may often be best divided on the geographical principle. Jacob’s career falls into the four distinct periods: that of his residence with Isaac in Canaan, that of his residence with Laban in Aram, that of his independent life in Canaan and that of his migration to Egypt.

1. With Isaac in Canaan:

Jacob’s birth was remarkable in respect of

(a) its delay for 20 years as noted above,

(b) that condition of his mother which led to the Divine oracle concerning his future greatness and supremacy, and

(c) the unusual phenomenon that gave him his name: "he holds by the heel" (see above, I, 2).

Unlike his twin brother, Jacob seems to have been free from any physical peculiarities; his smoothness (Ge 27:11) is only predicated of him in contrast to Esau’s hairiness. These brothers, as they developed, grew apart in tastes and habits. Jacob, like his father in his quiet manner of life and (for that reason perhaps) the companion and favorite of his mother, found early the opportunity to obtain Esau’s sworn renunciation of his right of primogeniture, by taking advantage of his habits, his impulsiveness and his fundamental indifference to the higher things of the family, the things of the future (Ge 25:32). It was not until long afterward that the companion scene to this first "supplanting" (Ge 27:36) was enacted. Both sons meanwhile are to be thought of simply as members of Isaac’s following, during all the period of his successive sojourns in Gerar, the Valley of Gerar and Beersheba (Ge 26). Within this period, when the brothers were 40 years of age, occurred Esau’s marriage with two Hittite women. Jacob, remembering his own mother’s origin, bided his time to find the woman who should be the mother of his children. The question whether she should be brought to him, as Rebekah was to Isaac, or he should go to find her, was settled at last by a family feud that only his absence could heal. This feud was occasioned by the fraud that Jacob at Rebekah’s behest practiced upon his father and brother, when these two were minded to nullify the clearly revealed purpose of the oracle (Ge 25:23) and the sanctions of a solemn oath (Ge 25:33). Isaac’s partiality for Esau arose perhaps as much from Esau’s resemblance to the active, impulsive nature of his mother, as from the sensual gratification afforded Isaac by the savory dishes his son’s hunting supplied. At any rate, this partiality defeated itself because it overreached itself. The wife, who had learned to be eyes and ears for a husband’s failing senses, detected the secret scheme, counterplotted with as much skill as unscrupulousness, and while she obtained the paternal blessing for her favorite son, fell nevertheless under the painful necessity of choosing between losing him through his brother’s revenge or losing him by absence from home. She chose, of course, the latter alternative, and herself brought about Jacob’s departure, by pleading to Isaac the necessity for obtaining a woman as Jacob’s wife of a sort different from the Canaanitish women that Esau had married. Thus ends the first portion of Jacob’s life.

2. To Aram and Back:

It is no young man that sets out thus to escape a brother’s vengeance, and perhaps to find a wife at length among his mother’s kindred. It was long before this that Esau at the age of forty had married the Hittite women (compare Ge 26:34 with 27:46). Yet to one who had hitherto spent his life subordinate to his father, indulged by his mother, in awe of a brother’s physical superiority, and "dwelling in tents, a quiet (domestic) man" (Ge 25:27), this journey of 500 or 600 miles, with no one to guide, counsel or defend, was as new an experience as if he had really been the stripling that he is sometimes represented to have been. All the most significant chapters in life awaited him: self-determination, love, marriage, fatherhood, domestic provision and administration, adjustment of his relations with men, and above all a personal and independent religious experience.

Of these things, all were to come to him in the 20 years of absence from Canaan, and the last was to come first; for the dream of Jacob at Beth-el was of course but the opening scene in the long drama of God’s direct dealing with Jacob. Yet it was the determinative scene, for God in His latest and fullest manifestation to Jacob was just "the God of Beth-el" (Ge 35:7; 48:3; 49:24).

With the arrival at Haran came love at once, though not for 7 years the consummation of that love. Its strength is naively indicated by the writer in two ways: impliedly in the sudden output of physical power at the well-side (Ge 29:10), and expressly in the patient years of toil for Rachel’s sake, which "seemed unto him but a few days for the love he had to her" (Ge 29:20). Jacob is not primarily to be blamed for the polygamy that brought trouble into his home-life and sowed the seeds of division and jealousy in the nation of the future. Although much of Israel’s history can be summed up in the rivalry of Leah and Rachel—Judah and Joseph—yet it was not Jacob’s choice but Laban’s fraud that introduced this cause of schism. At the end of his 7 years’ labor Jacob received as wife not Rachel but Leah, on the belated plea that to give the younger daughter before the elder was not the custom of the country. This was the first of the "ten times" that Laban "changed the wages" of Jacob (Ge 31:7,41). Rachel became Jacob’s wife 7 days after Leah, and for this second wife he "served 7 other years." During these 7 years were born most of the sons and daughters (Ge 37:35) that formed the actual family, the nucleus of that large caravan that Jacob took back with him to Canaan. Dinah is the only daughter named; Ge 30:21 is obviously in preparation for the story of Ge 34 (see especially 34:31). Four sons of Leah were the oldest: Reuben, with the right of primogeniture, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Next came the 4 sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the personal slaves of the two wives (compare ABRAHAM, iv, 2); the two pairs of sons were probably of about the same age (compare order in Ge 49). Leah’s 5th and 6th sons were separated by an interval of uncertain length from her older group. And Joseph, the youngest son born in Haran, was Rachel’s first child, equally beloved by his mother, and by his father for her sake (33:2; compare 44:20), as well as because he was the youngest of the eleven (37:3).

Jacob’s years of service for his wives were followed by 6 years of service rendered for a stipulated wage. Laban’s cunning in limiting the amount of this wage in a variety of ways was matched by Jacob’s cunning in devising means to overreach his uncle, so that the penniless wanderer of 20 years before becomes the wealthy proprietor of countless cattle and of the hosts of slaves necessary for their care (Ge 32:10). At the same time the apology of Jacob for his conduct during this entire period of residence in Haran is spirited (Ge 31:36-42); it is apparently unanswerable by Laban (Ge 31:43); and it is confirmed, both by the evident concurrence of Leah and Rachel (Ge 31:14-16), and by indications in the narrative that the justice (not merely the partiality) of God gave to each party his due recompense: to Jacob the rich returns of skillful, patient industry; to Laban rebuke and warning (Ge 31:5-13,24,29,42).

The manner of Jacob’s departure from Haran was determined by the strained relations between his uncle and himself. His motive in going, however, is represented as being fundamentally the desire to terminate an absence from his father’s country that had already grown too long (Ge 31:30; compare Ge 30:25)—a desire which in fact presented itself to him in the form of a revelation of God’s own purpose and command (Ge 31:3). Unhappily, his clear record was stained by the act of another than himself, who nevertheless, as a member of his family, entailed thus upon him the burden of responsibility. Rachel, like Laban her father, was devoted to the superstition that manifested itself in the keeping and consulting of teraphim, a custom which, whether more nearly akin to fetishism, totemism, or ancestor-worship, was felt to be incompatible with the worship of the one true God. (Note that the "teraphim" of Ge 31:19,34 f are the same as the "gods" of 31:30,32 and, apparently, of 35:2,4.) This theft furnished Laban with a pretext for pursuit. What he meant to do he probably knew but imperfectly himself. Coercion of some sort he would doubtless have brought to bear upon Jacob and his caravan, had he not recognized in a dream the God whom Jacob worshipped, and heard Him utter a word of warning against the use of violence. Laban failed to find his stolen gods, for his daughter was as crafty and ready-witted as he. The whole adventure ended in a formal reconciliation, with the usual sacrificial and memorial token (Ge 31:43-55).

After Laban, Esau. One danger is no sooner escaped than a worse threatens. Yet between them lies the pledge of Divine presence and protection in the vision of God’s host at Mahanaim: just a simple statement, with none of the fanciful detail that popular story-telling loves, but the sober record of a tradition to which the supernatural was matter of fact. Even the longer passage that preserves the occurrence at Peniel is conceived in the same spirit. What the revelation of the host of God had not sufficed to teach this faithless, anxious, scheming patriarch, that God sought to teach him in the night-struggle, with its ineffaceable physical memorial of a human impotence that can compass no more than to cling to Divine omnipotence (Ge 32:22-32). The devices of crafty Jacob to disarm an offended and supposedly implacable brother proved as useless as that bootless wrestling of the night before; Esau’s peculiar disposition was not of Jacob’s making, but of God’s, and to it alone Jacob owed his safety. The practical wisdom of Jacob dictated his insistence upon bringing to a speedy termination the proposed association with his changeable brother, amid the difficulties of a journey that could not be shared by such divergent social and racial elements as Esau’s armed host and Jacob’s caravan, without discontent on the one side and disaster on the other. The brothers part, not to meet again until they meet to bury their father at Hebron (Ge 35:29).

3. In Canaan Again:

Before Jacob’s arrival in the South of Canaan where his father yet lived and where his own youth had been spent, he passed through a period of wandering in Central Palestine, somewhat similar to that narrated of his grandfather Abraham. To any such nomad, wandering slowly from Aram toward Egypt, a period of residence in the region of Mt. Ephraim was a natural chapter in his book of travels. Jacob’s longer stops, recorded for us, were

(1) at Succoth, East of the Jordan near Peniel,

(2) at Shechem and

(3) at Beth-el.

Nothing worthy of record occurred at Succoth, but the stay at Shechem was eventful. Genesis 34, which tells the story of Dinah’s seduction and her brother’s revenge, throws as much light upon the relations of Jacob and the Canaanites, as does chapter 14 or chapter 23 upon Abraham’s relations, or chapter 26 upon Isaac’s relations, with such settled inhabitants of the land. There is a strange blending of moral and immoral elements in Jacob and his family as portrayed in this contretemps. There is the persistent tradition of separateness from the Canaanites bequeathed from Abraham’s day (chapter 24), together with a growing family consciousness and sense of superiority (34:7,14,31). And at the same time there is indifference to their unique moral station among the environing tribes, shown in Dinah’s social relations with them (34:1), in the treachery and cruelty of Simeon and Levi (34:25-29), and in Jacob’s greater concern for the security of his possessions than for the preservation of his good name (verse 30).

It was this concern for the safety of the family and its wealth that achieved the end which dread of social absorption would apparently never have achieved—the termination of a long residence where there was moral danger for all. For a second time Jacob had fairly to be driven to Beth-el. Safety from his foes was again a gift of God (Ge 35:5), and in a renewal of the old forgotten ideals of consecration (Ge 35:2-8), he and all his following move from the painful associations of Shechem to the hallowed associations of Beth-el. Here were renewed the various phases of all God’s earlier communications to this patriarch and to his fathers before him. The new name of Israel, hitherto so ill deserved, is henceforth to find realization in his life; his fathers’ God is to be his God; his seed is to inherit the land of promise, and is to be no mean tribe, but a group of peoples with kings to rule over them like the nations round about (Ge 35:9-12). No wonder that Jacob here raises anew his monument of stone—emblem of the "Stone of Israel" (Ge 49:24)—and stamps forever, by this public act, upon ancient Luz (Ge 35:6), the name of Beth-el which he had privately given it years before (Ge 28:19).

Losses and griefs characterized the family life of the patriarch at this period. The death of his mother’s Syrian nurse at Beth-el (Ge 35:8; compare Ge 24:59) was followed by the death of his beloved wife Rachel at Ephrath (Ge 35:19; 48:7) in bringing forth the youngest of his 12 sons, Benjamin. At about the same time the eldest of the 12, Reuben, forfeited the honor of his station in the family by an act that showed all too clearly the effect of recent association with Canaanites (Ge 35:22). Finally, death claimed Jacob’s aged father, whose latest years had been robbed of the companionship, not only of this son, but also of the son whom his partiality had all but made a fratricide; at Isaac’s grave in Hebron the ill-matched brothers met once more, thenceforth to go their separate ways, both in their personal careers and in their descendants’ history (Ge 35:29).

Jacob now is by right of patriarchal custom head of all the family. He too takes up his residence at Hebron (Ge 37:14), and the story of the family fortunes is now pursued under the new title of "the generations of Jacob" (Ge 37:2). True, most of this story revolves about Joseph, the youngest of the family save Benjamin; yet the occurrence of passages like Ge 38, devoted exclusively to Judah’s affairs, or 46:8-27, the enumeration of Jacob’s entire family through its secondary ramifications, or Ge 49, the blessing of Jacob on all his sons—all these prove that Jacob, not Joseph, is the true center of the narrative until his death. As long as he lives he is the real head of his house, and not merely a superannuated veteran like Isaac. Not only Joseph, the boy of 17 (37:2), but also the self-willed elder sons, even a score of years later, come and go at his bidding (Ge 42$; 43$; 44$; 45$). Joseph’s dearest thought, as it is his first thought, is for his aged father (43:7,27; 44:19; and especially 45:3,9,13,23, and 46:29).

4. Last Years in Egypt:

It is this devotion of Joseph that results in Jacob’s migration to Egypt. What honors there Joseph can show his father he shows him: he presents him to Pharaoh, who for Joseph’s sake receives him with dignity, and assigns him a home and sustenance for himself and all his people as honored guests of the land of Egypt (Ge 47:7-12). Yet in Beersheba, while en route to Egypt, Jacob had obtained a greater honor than this reception by Pharaoh. He had found there, as ready to respond to his sacrifices as ever to those of his fathers, the God of his father Isaac, and had received the gracious assurance of Divine guidance in this momentous journey, fraught with so vast a significance for the future nation and the world (Ge 46:1-4): God Himself would go with him into Egypt and give him, not merely the gratification of once more embracing his long-lost son, but the fulfillment of the covenant-promise (Ge 15:13-16) that he and his were not turning their backs upon Canaan forever. Though 130 years of age when he stood before Pharaoh, Jacob felt his days to have been "few" as well as "evil," in comparison with those of his fathers (Ge 47:9). And in fact he had yet 17 years to live in Goshen (Ge 47:28).

These last days are passed over without record, save of the growth and prosperity of the family. But at their close came the impartation of the ancestral blessings, with the last will of the dying patriarch. After adopting Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, as his own, Jacob blesses them, preferring the younger to the elder as he himself had once been preferred to Esau, and assigns to Joseph the "double portion" of the firstborn—that "preeminence" which he denies to Reuben (Ge 48:22; 49:4). In poetry that combines with the warm emotion and glowing imagery of its style and the unsurpassed elevation of its diction, a lyrical fervor of religious sentiment which demands for its author a personality that had passed through just such course of tuition as Jacob had experienced, the last words of Jacob, in Ge 49, mark a turning-point in the history of the people of God. This is a translation of biography into prophecy. On the assumption that it is genuine, we may confidently aver that it was simply unforgetable by those who heard it. Its auditors were its theme. Their descendants were its fulfillment. Neither the one class nor the other could ever let it pass out of memory.

It was "by faith," we are well reminded, that Jacob "blessed" and "worshipped" "when he was dying" (Heb 11:21). For he held to the promises of God, and even in the hour of dissolution looked for the fulfillment of the covenant, according to which Canaan should belong to him and to his seed after him. He therefore set Joseph an example, by "giving commandment concerning his bones," that they might rest in the burial-place of Abraham and Isaac near Hebron. To the accomplishment of this mission Joseph and all his brethren addressed themselves after their father’s decease and the 70 days of official mourning. Followed by a "very great company" of the notables of Egypt, including royal officials and representatives of the royal family, this Hebrew tribe carried up to sepulture in the land of promise the embalmed body of the patriarch from whom henceforth they were to take their tribal name, lamented him according to custom for 7 days, and then returned to their temporary home in Egypt, till their children should at length be "called" thence to become God’s son" (Ho 11:1) and inherit His promises to their father Jacob.

IV. Character and Beliefs.

In the course of this account of Jacob’s career the inward as well as the outward fortunes of the man have somewhat appeared. Yet a more comprehensive view of the kind of man he was will not be superfluous at this point. With what disposition was he endowed—the natural nucleus for acquired characteristics and habits? Through what stages did he pass in the development of his beliefs and his character? In particular, what attitude did he maintain toward the most significant thing in his life, the promise of God to his house? And lastly, what resemblances may be traced in Israel the man to Israel the nation, of such sort that the one may be regarded as "typical" of the other? These matters deserve more than a passing notice.

1. Natural Qualities:

From his father, Jacob inherited that domesticity and affectionate attachment to his home circle which appears in his life from beginning to end. He inherited shrewdness, initiative and resourcefulness from Rebekah—qualities which she shared apparently with her brother Laban and all his family. The conspicuous ethical faults of Abraham and Isaac alike are want of candor and want of courage. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the same failings in Jacob. Deceit and cowardice are visible again and again in the impartial record of his life. Both spring from unbelief. They belong to the natural man. God’s transformation of this man was wrought by faith—by awakening and nourishing in him a simple trust in the truth and power of the Divine word. For Jacob was not at any time in his career indifferent to the things of the spirit, the things unseen and belonging to the future. Unlike Esau, he was not callous to the touch of God. Whether through inheritance, or as a fruit of early teaching, he had as the inestimable treasure, the true capital of his spiritual career, a firm conviction of the value of what God had promised, and a supreme ambition to obtain it for himself and his children. But against the Divine plan for the attainment of this goal by faith, there worked in Jacob constantly his natural qualities, the non-moral as well as the immoral qualities, that urged him to save himself and his fortunes by "works"—by sagacity, cunning, compromise, pertinacity—anything and everything that would anticipate God’s accomplishing His purpose in His own time and His own way. In short, "the end justifies the means" is the program that, more than all others, finds illustration and rebuke in the character of Jacob.

2. Stages of Development:

Starting with such a combination of natural endowments, social, practical, ethical, Jacob passed through a course of Divine tuition, which, by building upon some of them, repressing others and transfiguring the remainder, issued in the triumph of grace over nature, in the transformation of a Jacob into an Israel. This tuition has been well analyzed by a recent writer (Thomas, Genesis, III, 204 f) into the school of sorrow, the school of providence and the school of grace. Under the head of sorrow, it is not difficult to recall many experiences in the career just reviewed: long exile; disappointment; sinful passions of greed, anger, lust and envy in others, of which Jacob was the victim; perplexity; and, again and again, bereavement of those he held most dear.

But besides these sorrows, God’s providence dealt with him in ways most remarkable, and perhaps more instructive for the study of such Divine dealings than in the case of any other character in the Old Testament. By alternate giving and withholding, by danger here and deliverance there, by good and evil report, now by failure of "best laid schemes" and now by success with seemingly inadequate means, God developed in him the habit—not native to him as it seems to have been in part to Abraham and to Joseph, —of reliance on Divine power and guidance, of accepting the Divine will, of realizing the Divine nearness and faithfulness.

And lastly, there are those admirably graded lessons in the grace of God, that were imparted in the series of Divine appearances to the patriarch, at Beth-el, at Haran, at Peniel, at Beth-el again and at Beersheba. For if the substance of these Divine revelations be compared, it will be found that all are alike in the assurance (1) that God is with him to bless; (2) that the changes of his life are ordained of God and are for his ultimate good; and (3) that he is the heir of the ancestral promises.

It will further be found that they may be arranged in a variety of ways, according as one or another of the revelations be viewed as the climax. Thus (1), agreeing with the chronological order, the appearance at Beersheba may well be regarded as the climax of them all. Abraham had gone to Egypt to escape a famine (Ge 12:10), but he went without revelation, and returned with bitter experience of his error. Isaac essayed to go to Egypt for the same cause (Ge 26:1 f), and was prevented by revelation. Jacob now goes to Egypt, but he goes with the express approval of the God of his fathers, and with the explicit assurance that the same Divine providence which ordained this removal (Ge 50:20) will see that it does not frustrate any of the promises of God. This was a crisis in the history of the "Kingdom of God" on a paragraph with events like the Exodus, the Exile, or the Return.

(2) In its significance for his personal history, the first of these revelations was unique. Beth-el witnessed Jacob’s choice, evidently for the first time, of his fathers’ God as his God. And though we find Jacob later tolerating idolatry in his household and compromising his religious testimony by sin, we never find a hint of his own unfaithfulness to this first and final religious choice. This is further confirmed by the attachment of his later revelations to this primary one, as though this lent them the significance of continuity, and made possible the unity of his religious experience. So at Haran it was the "God of Beth-el" who directed his return (Ge 31:13); at Shechem it was to Beth-el that he was directed, in order that he might at length fulfill his Beth-el vow, by erecting there an altar to the God who had there appeared to him (Ge 35:1); and at Beth-el finally the promise of former years was renewed to him who was henceforth to be Israel (Ge 35:9-15).

(3) Though thus punctuated with the supernatural, the only striking bit of the marvelous in all this biography is the night scene at Peniel. And this too may justly be claimed as a climax in Jacob’s development. There he first received his new name, and though he deserved it as little in many scenes thereafter as he had deserved it before, yet the same could be said of many a man who has "seen the face of God," but has yet to grasp, like Jacob, the lesson that the way to overcome is through the helpless but clinging importunity of faith.

(4) Rather than in any of the other scenes, however, it was at Beth-el the second time that the patriarch reached the topmost rung on the ladder of development. As already noticed, the substance of all the earlier revelations is here renewed and combined. It is no wonder that after this solemn theophany we find Jacob, like Moses later, ‘enduring as seeing him who is invisible’ (Heb 11:27), and "waiting for the salvation" (Ge 49:18) of a God ‘who is not ashamed of him, to be called his God’ (Heb 11:16), but is repeatedly called "the God of Jacob."

Finally, such a comparison of these revelations to Jacob reveals a variety in the way God makes Himself known. In the first revelation, naturally, the effort is made chiefly to impress upon its recipient the identity of the revealing God with the God of his fathers. And it has been remarked already that in the later revelations the same care is taken to identify the Revealer with the One who gave that first revelation, or else to identify Him, as then, with the God of the fathers. Yet, in addition to this, there is a richness and suitability in the Divine names revealed, which a mechanical theory of literary sources not only leaves unexplained but fails even to recognize. At Beth-el first it is Yahweh, the personal name of this God, the God of his fathers, who enters into a new personal relation with Jacob; now, of all times in his career, he needs to know God by the differential mark that distinguishes Him absolutely from other gods, that there may never be confusion as to Yahweh’s identity. But this matter is settled for Jacob once for all. Thenceforth one of the ordinary terms for deity, with or without an attributive adjunct, serves to lift the patriarch’s soul into communication with his Divine Interlocutor. The most general word of all in the Semitic tongues for deity is ‘El, the word used in the revelations to Jacob at Haran in Ge (31:13), at Shechem (35:1), at Beth-el the second time (35:11) and at Beersheba (46:3). But it is never used alone. Like Allah in the Arabic language (= the God), so ‘El with the definite article before it serves to designate in Hebrew a particular divinity, not deity in general. Or else ‘El without the article is made definite by some genitive phrase that supplies the necessary identification: so in Jacob’s case, El-beth-el (35:7; compare 31:13) or El-Elohe-Israel (33:20). Or, lastly, there is added to ‘El some determining title, with the force of an adjective, as Shaddai (translated "Almighty") in 35:11 (compare 43:3). In clear distinction from this word, ‘El, with its archaic or poetic flavor, is the common Hebrew word for God, ‘Elohim. But while ‘Elohim is used regularly by the narrator of the Jacob-stories in speaking, or in letting his actors speak, of Jacob’s God, who to the monotheistic writer is of course the God and his own God, he never puts this word thus absolutely into the mouth of the revealing Deity. Jacob can say, when he awakes from his dream, "This is the house of ‘Elohim," but God says to him in the dream, "I am the God (’Elohim) of thy father" (28:17,13). At Mahanaim Jacob says, "This is the host of ‘Elohim" (32:2), but at Beersheba God says to Jacob, "I am .... the God (’Elohim) of thy father" (46:3). Such are the distinctions maintained in the use of these words, all of them used of the same God, yet chosen in each case to fit the circumstances of speaker, hearer and situation.

The only passage in the story of Jacob that might appear to be an exception does in fact but prove the rule. At Peniel the angel of God explains the new name of Israel by saying, "Thou hast striven with God (’Elohim) and with men, and hast prevailed." Here the contrast with "men" proves that ‘Elohim without the article is just the right expression, even on the lips of Deity: neither Deity nor humanity has prevailed against Jacob (Ge 32:28).

Throughout the entire story of Jacob, therefore, his relations with Yahweh his God, after they were once established (Ge 28:13-16), are narrated in terms that emphasize the Divinity of Him who had thus entered into covenant-relationship with him: His Divinity—that is to say, those attributes in which His Divinity manifested itself in His dealings with Jacob.

3. Attitude toward the Promise:

From the foregoing, two things appear with respect to Jacob’s attitude toward the promise of God. First, with all his faults and vices he yet was spiritually sensitive; he responded to the approaches of his God concerning things of a value wholly spiritual—future good, moral and spiritual blessings. And second, he was capable of progress in these matters; that is, his reaction to the Divine tuition would appear, if charted, as a series of elevations, separated one from another, to be sure, by low levels and deep declines, yet each one higher than the last, and all taken collectively lifting the whole average up and up, till in the end faith has triumphed over sight, the future over present good, a yet unpossessed but Divinely promised Canaan over all the comfort and honors of Egypt, and the aged patriarch lives only to "wait for Yahweh’s salvation" (Ge 49:18).

The contrast of Jacob with Esau furnishes perhaps the best means of grasping the significance of these two facts for an estimate of Jacob’s attitude toward the promise. For in the first place, Esau, who possessed so much that Jacob lacked—directness, manliness, a sort of bonhomie, that made him superficially more attractive than his brother—Esau shows nowhere any real "sense" for things spiritual. The author of Hebrews has caught the man in the flash of a single word, "profane" bebelos)—of course, in the older, broader, etymological meaning of the term. Esau’s desires dwelt in the world of the non-sacred; they did not aspire to that world of nearness to God, where one must ‘put off the shoes from off his feet, because the place whereon he stands is holy ground.’ And in the second place, there is no sign of growth in Esau. What we see him in his father’s encampment, that we see him to the end—so far as appears from the laconic story. With the virtues as well as the vices of the man who lives for the present—forgiving when strong enough to revenge, condescending when flattered, proud of power and independent of parental control or family tradition—Esau is as impartially depicted by the sacred historian as if the writer had been an Edomite instead of an Israelite: the sketch is evidently true to life, both from its objectivity and from its coherence.

Now what Esau was, Jacob was not. His fault in connection with the promises of God, the family tradition, the ancestral blessing, lay not in despising them, but in seeking them in immoral ways. Good was his aim; but he was ready to "do evil that good might come." He was always tempted to be his own Providence, and God’s training was clearly directed, both by providential leadings and by gracious disclosures, to this corresponding purpose: to enlighten Jacob as to the nature of the promise; to assure him that it was his by grace; to awaken personal faith in its Divine Giver; and to supplement his "faith" by that "patience" without which none can "inherit the promises." The faith that accepts was to issue at length in the faith that waits.

4. How Far a "Type" of Israel:

A nation was to take its name from Jacob-Israel, and there are some passages of Scripture where it is uncertain whether the name designates the nation or its ancestor. In their respective relations to God and to the world of men and nations, there is a true sense in which the father was a "type" of the children. It is probably only a play of fancy that would discover a parallel in their respective careers, between the successive stages of life in the father’s home (Canaan), life in exile, a return, and a second exile. But it is not fanciful to note the resemblance between Jacob’s character and that of his descendants. With few exceptions the qualities mentioned above (IV, 2) will be found, mutatis mutandis, to be equally applicable to the nation of Israel. And even that curriculum in which the patriarch learned of God may be viewed as a type of the school in which the Hebrew people—not all of them, nor even the mass, but the "remnant" who approximated to the ideal Israel of the prophets, the "servant of Yahweh"—were taught the lessons of faith and patience, of renunciation and consecration, that appear with growing clearness on the pages of Isaiah, of Habakkuk, of Jeremiah, of Malachi. This is apparently Hosea’s point of view in Ho 12:2-4,12.

A word of caution, however, is needed at this point. There are limits to this equation. Even critics who regard Jacob under his title of Israel as merely the eponymous hero, created by legend to be the forefather of the nation (compare below, VI, 1), must confess that Jacob as Jacob is no such neutral creature, dressed only in the colors of his children’s racial qualities. There is a large residuum in Jacob, after all parallelisms have been traced, that refuses to fit the lines of Hebrew national character or history, and his typical relation in fact lies chiefly in the direction of the covenant-inheritance, after the fashion of Malachi’s allusion (Mal 1:2), interpreted by Paul (Ro 9:10-13).

V. References Outside of Genesis.

Under his two names this personage Jacob or Israel is more frequently mentioned than any other in the whole of sacred history. Yet in the vast majority of cases the nation descended from him is intended by the name, which in the form of "Jacob" or "Israel" contains not the slightest, and in the form "children of Israel," "house of Jacob" and the like, only the slightest, if any, allusion to the patriarch himself. But there still remain many passages in both Testaments where the Jacob or Israel of Ge is clearly alluded to.

1. In the Old Testament:

There is a considerable group of passages that refer to him as the last of the patriarchal triumvirate—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: so particularly of Yahweh as the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," and of the covenant-oath as having been "sworn unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." And naturally the nation that is known by his name is frequently called by some phrase, equivalent to the formal bene yisra’el, yet through its unusualness lending more significance to the idea of their derivation from him: so "seed of Jacob" and (frequently) "house of Jacob (Israel)." But there are a few Old Testament passages outside of Ge in which so much of Jacob’s history has been preserved, that from these allusions alone a fair notion might have been gathered concerning the Hebrews’ tradition of their common ancestor, even if all the story in Ge had been lost. These passages are: Jos 24:3,4,32; Ps 105:10-23; Ho 12:2-4,12; Mal 1:2 f. Besides these, there are other allusions, scattered a word here and a sentence there, from all of which together we learn as follows. God gave to Isaac twin sons, Esau and Jacob, the latter at birth taking the former by the heel. God elected Jacob to be the recipient of the covenant-promise made to his father Isaac and to his grandfather Abraham; and this choice involved the rejection of Esau. Yahweh appeared to Jacob at Beth-el and told him the land of Canaan was to be his and his seed’s after him forever. Circumstances not explained caused Jacob to flee from his home in Canaan to Aram, where he served as a shepherd to obtain a wife as his wage. He became the father of 12 sons. He strove with the angel of God and prevailed amid earnest supplication. His name was by Yahweh Himself changed to Israel. Under Divine protection as God’s chosen one and representative, his life was that of a wanderer from place to place; once only he bought a piece of land, for a hundred pieces, near Shechem, from Hamor, the father of Shechem. A famine drove him down to Egypt, but not without providential preparation for the reception there of himself and all his family, through the remarkable fortunes of his son Joseph, sold, exiled, imprisoned, delivered, and exalted to a position where he could dispose of rulers and nations. In Egypt the children of Jacob multiplied rapidly, and at his death he made the sons of Joseph the heirs of the only portion of Canaanitish soil that he had acquired.

From this it appears, first, that not much that is essential in the biography of Jacob would have perished though Genesis had been lost; and, second, that the sum of the incidental allusions outside Ge resemble the total impression of the narratives in Genesis—in other words, that the Biblical tradition is self-consistent. And it runs back to a date (Hosea, 8th century BC) little farther removed from the events recounted than the length of time that separates our own day from the Norman conquest, or the Fall of Constantinople from the Hegira, or Jesus Christ from Solomon.

2. In the New Testament:

In the New Testament also there are, besides the references to Jacob simply as the father of his nation, several passages that recall events in his life or traits of his character. These are: Joh 4:5,6,12; Ac 7:12,14-16; Ro 9:10-13; Heb 11:9,20 f. In the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman it appears that the Samaritans cherished the association of Jacob with the ground he bought near Shechem, and with the well he dug while sojourning there with his sons and his flocks; they prided themselves on its transmission to them through Joseph, not to the hated Jews through Judah, and magnified themselves in magnifying Jacob’s "greatness" and calling him "our father." Stephen’s speech, as Luke reports it, includes in its rapid historical flight a hint or two about Jacob beyond the bare fact of his place in the tribal genealogy. Moved by the famine prevailing in Egypt and Canaan, Jacob twice dispatches his sons to buy grain in Egypt, and the second time Joseph is made known to his brothers, and his race becomes manifest to Pharaoh. At Joseph’s behest, Jacob and all the family remove to Egypt. There all remain until their death, but the "fathers" (Joseph and his brethren; compare Jerome, Epistola cviii, edition Migne) are buried in the family possession near Shechem. (Here emerges one of those divergences from the Old Testament tradition that are a notable feature of Stephen’s speech, and that have furnished occasion for much speculation upon their origin, value and implications. See commentaries on Acts.) Paul’s interest in Jacob appears in connection with his discussion of Divine election, where he calls attention to the oracle of Ge 25:23 and to the use already made of the passage by Malachi (1:2 f), and reminds his readers that this choice of Jacob and rejection of Esau was made by God even before these twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca were born. Finally, the author of He, when charting the heroes of faith, focuses his glass for a moment upon Jacob: first, as sharing with Abraham and Isaac the promise of God and the life of unworldly, expectant faith (Heb 11:9); and second, as receiving from Isaac, and at his death transmitting to his grandsons, blessings that had value only for one who worships and believes a God with power over "things to come" (Heb 11:20 f).

VI. Modern Interpretations of Jacob.

For those who see in the patriarchal narratives anything—myth, legend, saga—rather than true biography, there is, of course, a different interpretation of the characters and events portrayed in the familiar Genesis-stories, and a different value placed upon the stories themselves.

Apart from the allegorizing treatment accorded them by Philo the Jew and early Christian writers of like mind (see specimen in ABRAHAM), these views belong to modern criticism. To critics who make Hebrew history begin with the settlement of Canaan by the nomad Israelites fresh from the desert, even the Mosaic age and the Egyptian residence are totally unhistorical—much more so these tales of a pre-Mosaic patriarchal age. Yet even those writers who admit the broad outlines of a residence of the tribes in Egypt, an exodus of some sort, and a founder of the nation named Moses, are for the most part skeptical of this cycle of family figures and fortunes in a remote age, with its nomads wandering between Mesopotamia and Canaan. and to and fro in Canaan, its circumstantial acquaintance with the names and relationships of each individual through those 4 long patriarchal generations, and its obvious foreshadowing of much that the later tribes were on this same soil to act out centuries later. This, we are told, is not history. Whatever else it may be, it is not a reliable account of such memorable events as compel their own immortality in the memories and through the written records of mankind.

1. Personification of the Hebrew Nation:

The commonest view held, collectively of the entire narrative, specifically of Jacob, is that which sees here the precipitate from a pure solution of the national character and fortunes. Wellhausen, e.g., says (Prolegomena(6), 316): "The material here is not mythical, but national; therefore clearer (namely, than in Ge 1-11) and in a certain sense historical. To be sure there is no historical knowledge to be gained here about the patriarchs, but only about the time in which the stories concerning them arose in the people of Israel; this later time with its inward and outward characteristics is here unintentionally projected into the gray antiquity and mirrored therein like a glorified phantasm ....( p. 318). Jacob is more realistically drawn than the other two (Abraham and Isaac)." In section IV, 4, above, we observed that, while many of Jacob’s personal qualities prefigured the qualities of the later Hebrew people, there were some others that did not at all fit this equation. Wellhausen himself remarks this, in regard to the contrast between warlike Israel and the peaceful ancestors they invented for themselves. In his attempt to account for this contrast, he can only urge that a nation condemned to eternal wars would naturally look back upon, as well as forward to, a golden age of peace. (An alternative explanation he states, only to reject.) He fails to observe that this plea does not in the least alter the fact—his plea is indeed but a restatement of the fact—that this phenomenon is absolutely at variance with his hypothesis of how these stories of Jacob and the rest came to be what they are (see Meyer, Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstamme, 250 ff).

2. God and Demi-God:

This general view, which when carried to its extreme implications (as by Steuernagel, Die Einwanderung der israelitischen Stamme in Kanaan, 1901) comes perilously near the reductio ad absurdum that is its own refutation, has been rejected by that whole group of critics, who, following Noldeke, see in Jacob, as in so many others of the patriarchs, an original deity (myth), first abased to the grade of a hero (heroic legend), and at last degraded to the level of a clown (tales of jest or marvel). Adherents of this trend of interpretation differ widely among themselves as to details, but Jacob is generally regarded as a Canaanitish deity, whose local shrine was at Shechem, Beth-el or Peniel, and whose cult was taken over by the Hebrews, their own object of worship being substituted for him, and the outstanding features of his personality being made over into a hero that Israel appropriated as their national ancestor, even to the extent of giving him the secondary name of Israel. Stade attempted a combination of this "mythical" view with the "national" view in the interest of his theory of primitive animism, by making the patriarch a "mythological figure revered as an eponymous hero." This theory, in any form, requires the assumption, which there is nothing to support, that Jacob (or Jacob-el) is a name originally belonging to a deity and framed to fit his supposed character. At first, then, it meant "‘El deceives" or "‘El recompenses" (so B. Luther, ZATW, 1901, 60 ff; compare also the same writer, as well as Meyer himself, in the latter’s Israeliten, etc., 109 ff, 271 ff). Meyer proposes the monstrosity of a nominal sentence with the translation, "‘ He deceives’ is ‘El." Thus, the first element of the name Jacob came to be felt as the name itself (=" Jacob is God"), and it was launched upon its course of evolution into the human personage that Genesis knows. It suffices to say with regard to all this, that in addition to its being inherently improbable—not to say, unproved—it goes directly in the face of the archaeological evidence adduced under I, 1, above. The simple fact that Jacob(-el) was a personal name for men, of everyday occurrence in the 2nd-3rd millenniums BC, is quite enough to overthrow this whole hypothesis; for, as Luther himself remarks (op. cit., 65), the above evolution of the name is essential to the "mythical" theory: "when this alteration took place cannot be told; yet it has to be postulated, since otherwise it remains inexplicable, how personal names could arise out of these formations (like Jacob-el) by rejection of the ‘El."

3. Character of Fiction:

The inadequacy of the two theories hitherto advanced to account for the facts of Genesis being thus evident, Gunkel and others have explicitly rejected them and enunciated a third theory, which may be called the saga-theory. According to Gunkel, "to understand the persons of Genesis as nations is by no means a general key to their interpretation"; and, "against the whole assumption that the principal patriarchal figures are originally gods is this fact first and foremost, that the names Jacob and Abraham are shown by the Babylonian to be customary personal names, and furthermore that the tales about them cannot be understood at all as echoes of original myths." In place of these discredited views Gunkel (compare also Gressmann, ZATW, 1910, 1 ff) makes of Jacob simply a character in the stories (marvelous, humorous, pathetic and the like) current in ancient Israel, especially on the lips of the professional story-teller. Whereas much of the material in these stories came to the Hebrews from the Babylonians, Canaanites or Egyptians, Jacob himself is declared to have belonged to the old Hebrew saga, with its flavor of nomadic desert life and sheep-raising. "The original Jacob may be the sly shepherd Jacob, who fools the hunter Esau; another tale, of the deceit of a father-in-law by his son-in-law, was added to it—the more naturally because both are shepherds; a third cycle, about an old man that loves his youngest son, was transferred to this figure, and that youngest son received the name of Joseph at a time when Jacob was identified with Israel’s assumed ancestor ‘Israel.’ Thus our result is, that the most important patriarchs are creations of fiction" (Schriften des Altes Testament, 5te Lieferung, 42).

It is so obvious that this new attitude toward the patriarchs lends itself to a more sympathetic criticism of the narrative of Genesis, that critics who adopt it are at pains to deny any intention on their part of rehabilitating Jacob and others as historical figures. "Saga," we are told, "is not capable of preserving through so many centuries a picture" of the real character or deeds of its heroes, even supposing that persons bearing these names once actually lived; and we are reminded of the contrast between the Etzel of saga and the Attila of history, the Dietrich of saga and the Theodoric of history. But as against this we need to note, first, that the long and involved course of development through which, ex hypothesi, these stories have passed before reaching their final stage (the Jahwist document (Jahwist), 9th century BC; Gunkel, op. cit., 8, 46) involves a very high antiquity for the earlier stages, and thus reduces to a narrow strip of time those "so many centuries" that are supposed to separate the actual Jacob from the Jacob of saga (compare ABRAHAM, vii, 4); and second, that the presuppositions as to the origin, nature and value of saga with which this school of criticism operates are, for the most part, only an elaborate statement of the undisputed major premise in a syllogism, of which the minor premise is: the Genesis-stories are saga. Against this last proposition, however, there lie many weighty considerations, that are by no means counterbalanced by those resemblances of a general sort which any student of comparative literature can easily discern (see also Baethgen, op. cit., 158).

James Oscar Boyd


(ya‘aqobh; Iakob):

(1) The patriarch (see preceding article).

(2) The father of Joseph the husband of Mary (Mt 1:15,16).

(3) Patronymic denoting the Israelites (Isa 10:21; 14:1; Jer 10:16).


(pege tou Iakob):

1. Position of Well:

In Joh 4:3 ff we read that our Lord "left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs pass through Samaria. So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph: and Jacob’s well was there." When Jacob came to Shechem on his return from Paddanaram he encamped "before," i.e. East of the city, and bought the land on which he had spread his tent (Ge 33:18 f). This is doubtless the "portion" (Hebrew shekhem) spoken of in Ge 48:22; although there it is said to have been taken with sword and bow from the Amorites. Where the pass of Shechem opens to the East, near the northern edge of the valley, lies the traditional tomb of Joseph. On the other side of the vale, close to the base of Gerizim, is the well universally known as Bir Ya‘qub, "the well of Jacob." The position meets perfectly the requirements of the narrative. The main road from the South splits a little to the East, one arm leading westward through the pass, the other going more directly to the North. It is probable that these paths follow pretty closely the ancient tracks; and both would be frequented in Jesus’ day. Which of them He took we cannot tell; but, in any case, this well lay in the fork between them, and could be approached with equal ease from either.


2. Why Dug:

In the chapter quoted, it is said that Jacob dug the well (Ge 48:12). The Old Testament says nothing of this. With the copious springs at ‘Ain ‘Askar and BalaTa, one might ask why a well should have been dug here at all. We must remember that in the East, very strict laws have always governed the use of water, especially when there were large herds to be considered. The purchase of land here may not have secured for Jacob such supplies as he required. There was danger of strife between rival herdsmen. The patriarch, therefore, may have dug the well in the interests of peace, and also to preserve his own independence.

3. Consensus of Tradition:

Jew, Samaritan, Moslem and Christian agree in associating this well with the patriarch Jacob. This creates a strong presumption in favor of the tradition: and there is no good reason to doubt its truth. Standing at the brink of the well, over-shadowed by the giant bulk of Gerizim, one feels how naturally it would be spoken of as "this mountain."

4. Description:

For long the well was unprotected, opening among the ruins of a vaulted chamber some feet below the surface of the ground. Major Anderson describes it (Recovery of Jerusalem, 465) as having "a narrow opening, just wide enough to allow the body of a man to pass through with arms uplifted, and this narrow neck, which is about 4 ft. long, opens into the well itself, which is cylindrically shaped, and about 7 ft. 6 inches in diameter. The mouth and upper part of the well are built of masonry, and the well appears to have been sunk through a mixture of alluvial soil and limestone fragments, till a compact bed of mountain limestone was reached, having horizontal strata which could be easily worked; and the interior of the well presents the appearance of having been lined throughout with rough masonry." The depth was doubtless much greater in ancient times; but much rubbish has fallen into it, and now it is not more than 75 ft. deep. It is fed by no spring, nor is the water conducted to it along the surface, as to a cistern. Its supplies depend entirely upon rainfall and percolation. Possibly, therefore, the water may never have approached the brim. The woman says "the well is deep." Pege, "spring," does not, therefore, strictly apply to it, but rather "tank" or "reservoir," phrear, the word actually used in verses 11 f. The modern inhabitants of Nablus highly esteem the "light" water of the well as compared with the "heavy" or "hard" water of the neighboring springs. It usually lasts till about the end of May; then the well is dry till the return of the rain. Its contents, therefore, differ from the "living" water of the perennial spring.

From the narratives of the pilgrims we learn that at different times churches have been built over the well. The Moslems probably demolished the last of them after the overthrow of the Crusaders in 1187. A description of the ruins with drawings, as they were 30 years ago, is given in PEF, II, 174, etc. A stone found in 1881 may have been the original cover of the well. It measures 3 ft. 9 inches X 2 ft. 7 inches X 1 ft. 6 in. The aperture in the center is 13 in. in diameter; and in its sides are grooves worn by the ropes used in drawing up the water (PEFS, 1881, 212 ff).

5. Present Condition:

Some years ago the plot of ground containing the well was purchased by the authorities of the Greek church, and it has been surrounded by a wall. A chapel has been built over the well, and a large church building has also been erected beside it.

W. Ewing




ja-ku’-bus (Iakoubos; Codex Vaticanus reads Iarsouboos): In 1 Esdras 9:48 =" Akkub" in Ne 8:7, a Levite who helped in the exposition of the law.


ja’-da (yadha‘, "the knowing one"): Son of Onam and grandson of Jerahmeel by his wife Atarah (1Ch 2:26,28,32).


ja’-do, ja-da’-u (yiddo, Kethibh; yadday, Qere the King James Version; but the Revised Version (British and American) IDDO): In Ezr 10:43, one of those who had married foreign wives. the Revised Version margin has "Jaddai" (=" Edos," 1 Esdras 9:35).



jad’-i, jad’-a-i.



jad’-u-a, ja-du’-a (yaddua‘, "known"):

(1) One of the "chiefs of the people" who with Nehemiah sealed the covenant, thus signifying their voluntary acceptance of the law and their solemn promise to submit to its yoke (Ne 10:21 (Hebrew 22)).

(2) Son of Jonathan or Johanan, and great-grandson of Eliashib, the high priest in Nehemiah’s time (Ne 12:11,22). He is the last of the high priests mentioned in the Old Testament, and held office during the reign of Darius the Persian, i.e. Darius III Codomannus, the last king of Persia (336-332 BC), who was overthrown by Alexander the Great. It is doubtless to him that Josephus refers in his romantic account of Alexander’s entrance into Jerusalem (Ant., XI, viii, 4 f; vii, 2; viii, 7).

James Crichton


jad’-us (Codex Vaticanus, Iaddous; Codex Alexandrinus, Ioddous): the King James Version has "Addus" = Barzillai (Ezr 2:61; Ne 7:63). Jaddus was removed from the office of the priesthood because he could not prove his right to it after the return to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:38). He is called Barzillai in the. Old Testament, because he married Augia, the daughter of Zorzelleus (Barzillai the Gileadite, in the Old Testament). Compare BARZILLAI.


ja’-don (yadhon, perhaps "he will judge" or "plead"): One who helped to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in company with the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah (Ne 3:7). He is called the "Meronothite," and another Meronothite is referred to in 1Ch 27:30, but there is no mention of a place Meronoth. Jadon is the name given by Josephus (Ant., VIII, viii, 5; ix, 1) to "the man of God" from Judah who confronted Jeroboam as he burned incense at the altar in Bethel, and who was afterward deceived by the lie of the old prophet (1Ki 13). Josephus may probably have meant Iddo the seer, whose visions concerning Jeroboam (2Ch 9:29) led to his being identified in Jewish tradition with "the man of God", from Judah.

James Crichton


ja’-el (ya‘el, "a wild or mountain goat," as in Ps 104:18; Iael): The wife of Heber the Kenite and the slayer of Sisera (Jud 4:17-22; 5:2-31). Jael emerges from obscurity by this single deed, and by the kindest construction can hardly be said to have reached an enviable fame. The history of this event is clear. For years Jabin the king of Canaan had oppressed Israel. For twenty years the Israelites had been subject to him, and, in largest measure, the instrument of their subjugation had been Sisera, the king’s general, the "man of the iron chariots." Deborah, a prophetess of Israel, by her passion for freedom, had roused the tribes of Israel to do battle against Sisera. They defeated him at "Taanach by the waters of Megiddo," but Sisera sought in flight to save himself. He came to the "oaks of the wanderers," where the tribe of Heber lived. Here he sought, and was probably invited, to take shelter in the tent of Jael (Jud 4:17-18). There are two accounts of the subsequent events—one a prose narrative (Jud 4:19-22), the other a poetic one, found in Deborah’s song of triumph (Jud 5:24-27). The two accounts are as nearly in agreement as could be expected, considering their difference in form.

It is evident that the tribe of Heber was regarded by both parties to the struggle as being neutral. They were descendants of Jethro, and hence, had the confidence of the Israelites. Though they had suffered somewhat at the hands of the Canaanites they had made a formal contract of peace with Jabin. Naturally Sisera could turn to the tents of Heber in Kedesh-naphtali with some confidence. The current laws of hospitality gave an added element of safety. Whether Jael met Sisera and urged him to enter her tent and rest (Jud 4:18), or only invited him after his appeal for refuge, the fact remains that he was her guest, was in the sanctuary of her home, and protected by the laws of hospitality: She gave him milk to drink, a mantle for covering, and apparently acquiesced in his request that she should stand guard at the tent and deny his presence to any pursuers. When sleep came to the wearied fugitive she took a "tent-pin, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the pin into his temples" (Jud 4:21), and having murdered him, goes forth to meet Barak the Israelite general and claims the credit for her deed. Some critics suggest that Sisera was not asleep when murdered, and thus try to convert Jael’s treachery into strategy. But to kill your guest while he is drinking the milk of hospitality is little less culpable than to murder him while asleep. There is no evidence that Sisera offered Jael any insult or violence, and but little probability that she acted under any spiritual or Divine suggestion. It is really impossible to justify Jael’s act, though it is not impossible to understand it or properly to appreciate Deborah’s approval of the act as found in Jud 5:24. The motive of Jael may have been a mixed one. She may have been a sympathizer with Israel and with the religion of Israel. But the narrative scarcely warrants the interpretation that she felt herself as one called to render "stern justice on an enemy of God" (Expositor’s Bible). Jael was unquestionably prudential. Sisera was in flight and Barak in pursuit. Probably her sympathy was with Barak, but certainly reflection would show her that it would not be wisdom to permit Barak to find Sisera in her tent. She knew, too, that death would be Sisera’s portion should he be captured—therefore she would kill him and thus cement a friendship with the conqueror.

As to Deborah’s praise of Jael (Jud 5:24), there is no call to think that in her hour of triumph she was either capable of or intending to appraise the moral quality of Jael’s deed. Her country’s enemy was dead and that too at the hand of a woman. The woman who would kill Sisera must be the friend of Israel. Deborah had no question of the propriety of meting out death to a defeated persecutor. Her times were not such as to raise this question. The method of his death mattered little to her, for all the laws of peace were abrogated in the times of war. Therefore Jael was blessed among women by all who loved Israel. Whether Deborah thought her also to be worthy of the blessing of God we may not tell. At any rate there is no need for us to try to justify the treachery of Jael in order to explain the words of Deborah.

C. E. Schenk


ja’-gur (yaghur): An unidentified town on the Edomite frontier of Judah in the South (Jos 15:21).





ja’-hath (yachath, perhaps for yachteh, yachatheh, "he (God) will snatch up"):

(1) Son of Reaiah, son of Shobal, a descendant of Judah, and father of Ahumai and Lahad, the families of the Zorathites (1Ch 4:2).

(2) A frequent name for a descendant of Levi:

(a) Son of Libni, son of Gershom, the eldest son of Levi (1Ch 6:20,43 (Hebrew 6:5,28), where "son of Libni" is omitted).

(b) Son of Shimei, son of Gershom (1Ch 23:10 f).

(c) One of the "sons" of Shelomoth, a descendant of Izhar, son of Kohath, the second son of Levi (1Ch 24:22).

(d) A descendant of Merari, the third son of Levi, and an overseer in the repairing of the temple in the reign of Josiah (2Ch 34:12).

James Crichton


ja’-haz (yahats, Isa 16:4; Jer 48:34, yahatsah, or yahtsah, Nu 21:23; De 2:32; Jos 13:18; 21:36, the King James Version "Jahazah"; Jud 11:20; Jer 48:21; 1Ch 6:78, "Jahzah"): This is the place where in a great battle Israel overwhelmed Sihon king of the Amorites, and then took possession of all his territory (Nu 21:23, etc.). It is named along with Beth-baal-meon and Kedemoth (Jos 13:18), with Kedemoth (Jos 21:37) pointing to a position in the Southeast of the Amorite territory. It was given to Reuben by Moses, and was one of the cities in the portion of that tribe assigned to the Merarite Levites. Mesha (MS, ll. 18 if) says that the king of Israel dwelt in Jahaz when at war with him. Mesha drove him out, and the city passed into the hands of Moab. It is referred to as a city of Moab in Isa 15:4; Jer 48:21,34. Cheyne thinks that either Jahaz or Kedemoth must be represented today by the important ruins of Umm er-Recac, about 2 1/2 hours North of Dibon toward the desert (EB, under the word). No certain identification is possible.

W. Ewing


ja-ha-zi’-a: the King James Version for JAHZEIAH (which see).


ja-ha’-zi-el (yachazi’el, "God sees"):

(1) In 1Ch 12:4 (Hebrew 5), one of David’s recruits at Ziklag, a Benjamite or maybe a Judean.

(2) In 1Ch 16:6, one of two priests appointed by David to sound trumpets before the ark on its journey to Jerusalem. The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus, read "Uzziel."

(3) In 1Ch 23:19; 24:23, a Levite, "son" of Hebron, a Kohathite. Kittel, following the Septuagint, reads "Uzziel."

(4) In 2Ch 20:14, an Asaphite, son of Zechariah. He encouraged King Jehoshaphat of Judah and his subjects to fight against the Moabite and Ammonite invaders.

(5) In Ezr 8:5, an ancestor of one of the families of the Restoration. Read probably "of the sons of Zattu, Sheconiah the son of Jahaziel," following 1 Esdras 8:32 (= Jezelus).

David Francis Roberts


ja’-da-i, ja’-di (yahday, "Yah leads" (?); Baer reads yehday): In 1Ch 2:47, where six sons of Jahdai are mentioned. "The name has been taken as that of another wife or concubine of Caleb; more probably Jahdai is a descendant of Caleb, whose name, in the original connection, has fallen from the text" (Curtis, Chronicles, 96).


ja’-di-el (yachdi’el, "God gives joy"): In 1Ch 5:24, head of a Manassite family.


ja’-do (yachdo, meaning uncertain; Kittel suggests yachday = Jahdai): In 1Ch 5:14, a Gileadite.


ja’-le-el (yachle’el, "wait for God!"): In Ge 46:14; Nu 26:26, a "son" (i.e. clan) of Zebulun.


ja’-le-el-its (hayachle’eli, coll. with article): In Nu 26:26, the descendants of the clan of Jahleel.


ja’-ma-i, ja’-mi (yachmay, perhaps = yachmeyah, "may Yahweh protect!"): In 1Ch 7:2, head of a clan of Issachar.








ja’-ze-el (yachtse’el, "God divides," "apportions"): In Ge 46:24; Nu 26:48; and 23 manuscripts in 1Ch 7:13; (yachatsi’el, same meaning as above): 1Ch 7:13, a "son" (clan) of Naphtali.


ja’-ze-el-its (hayachtse’eli, coll. with article): In Nu 26:48, descendants of the clan of Jahzeel.


ja-ze’-ya, ja’-ze-ya (yachzeyah, "Yah sees"): In Ezr 10:15, son of Tikvah, and a contemporary of Ezra. It is disputed whether he and Jonathan opposed or supported Ezra in the matter of prosecuting those who had married foreign wives = Ezekias, 1 Esdras 9:14, or Ezias.


Two translations of the Hebrew phrase (‘amadh ‘al-zo’th) are given:

(1) "stood over this matter," i.e. supported Ezra; so the King James Version ("were employed in this matter"), and so Septuagint, 1 Esdras 9:14, the Revised Version margin. This is supported by 9:4, "Let now our princes be appointed for all the assembly," where the same phrase is found.

(2) the Revised Version (British and American) "stood up against this matter," so BDB, Gesenius, Bertheau, Stade.

Both translations can be supported by parallels in Hebrew. The context is better suited by the former rendering.

David Francis Roberts


ja’-ze-ra, ja-ze’-ra (yachzerah, meaning unknown): In 1Ch 9:12, an ancestor of Maasai and apparently =" Ahzai" of Ne 11:13.









(1) Jair (ya’ir, "he enlightens" or "one giving light"):

(a) Son, i.e. descendant of Manasseh (Nu 32:41; De 3:14; Jos 13:30; 1Ki 4:13; 1Ch 2:22 f). According to 1Ch 2:21 f he was the son of ScRub, son of Hezron, a descendant of Judah, who married the daughter of Machir, son of Manasseh. He was thus descended both from Judah and Manasseh. At the time of the conquest he distinguished himself by taking the tent-villages HAVVOTH-JAIR (which see). The accounts of his exploit are difficult to harmonize (see ICC on above passages). Some would identify him with the Jair of Jud 10:3, holding that Manasseh’s settlement in Northern Gilead and Bashan took place, not before Israel’s passage of the Jordan, but after the settlement of the tribe on the West. For a criticism of this view see HGHL, 577, note

(b) One of the judges. He is said to have had 30 sons, who rode on 30 ass colts, and who had as many cities, known as Havvoth-jair (Jud 10:3,4). One tradition identifies (a) and (b). Others reconcile the two narratives by interpreting the word "son" in a non-literal sense.

(c) The father of Mordecai (Es 2:5). In the Apocrypha (Additions to Esther 11:2) his name is given as "Jairus" (Iaeiros).

(2) Jair (Qere: ya‘ir, "he arouses"; Kethibh: ya‘ur; a different name from (1) above): The father of Elhanan, the giant-slayer (1Ch 20:5). In the parallel passage (2Sa 21:19) his name is given as "Jaare-oregim," but the text should be corrected to Jair, "oregim" (’oreghim) having crept in from the line below through a copyist’s error.

James Crichton


ja’-er-it (ya’iri, "of Jair"): In 2Sa 20:26, Ira the Jairite is "chief minister unto David." He was a descendant of Jair who was a Manassite (Nu 32:41, etc.) and whose territory was in Gilead. Septuagint, Lucian, and Syriac suggest yattiri, "Jattirite," i.e. a native of Jattir mentioned in 1Sa 30:27 as one of the towns friendly to David when he was in Ziklag. It is not improbable that a native of Jattir would be given such a post by David.

See IRA, and compare 2Sa 23:38.


ja’-i-rus, ja-i’-rus (Iaeiros; 1 Esdras 5:31; Additions to Esther 11:2).



ja’-i-rus, ja-i’-rus (Iaeiros): A ruler in a synagogue near Capernaum whose only daughter, aged about 12 years, was raised from the dead by Jesus (Mt 9:18-26; Mr 5:22-43; Lu 8:41-56). The accounts of the miracle are substantially the same, but vary in detail. According to Mark and Luke the arrival of Jairus in Capernaum fell immediately after the return of Jesus from Gadara, but according to Matthew the sequence of events was that Jesus had returned to Capernaum, had called Matthew, had joined the feast of the publicans, and had just finished His discourse on fasting when Jairus came to Him. Matthew and Mark both testify to the great faith of Jairus, who besought of Jesus that He should but lay His hand upon the maid and she should live. According to Matthew she was already dead when Jairus came to Capernaum; according to the others she was on the point of death; but all agree as to her death before the arrival of Jesus and His followers at her abode. Matthew implies that Jesus alone was present at the actual raising; Mark and Luke state that Peter, James, John and the parents were also there. The healing of the woman with the issue of blood by Jesus on the way is given by all.

C. M. Kerr


ja’-kan (ya‘aqan).



ja’-ke (yaqeh, perhaps from Arabic root meaning "carefully religious"; yaqe’, as if from qi’): The father of Agur, the author of the sayings recorded in Pr 30:1. Nothing is known of either Jakeh or Agur. The immediate connection in the Hebrew text of ha-massa’," the prophecy" or "burden" (the King James Version "even the prophecy," the Revised Version (British and American) "the oracle") with ne’um, "oracle" (the King James Version "spake," the Revised Version (British and American) "saith") is quite exceptional, while the verse is unintelligible and the text, as the Septuagint shows, is evidently corrupt. The best emendation is that which changes ha-massa’," the prophecy," into ha-massa’i, "the Massaite," or into mimmassa’," of Massa" (Revised Version margin), Massa being the name of the country of an Ishmaelite tribe (compare Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30; Pr 31:1 the Revised Version margin).


James Crichton


ja’-kim (yaqim, "he (God) lifteth Up"; compare ELIAKIM):

(1) A Benjamite, a son of Shimei (1Ch 8:19).

(2) A priest, the head of the 12th of the 24 courses into which the priests were divided (1Ch 24:12).


ja’-lam (ya‘lam, according to BDB following Septuagint Ieglom, in Gen, from ‘alam, meaning "to conceal"; according to Gunkel, Gen3, 390, from ya‘el, "mountain-goat"; see HPN, 90, note 5; King James Version Jaalam): In Ge 36:5,14,18; 1Ch 1:35, a son of Esau, mentioned as the 2nd son by Oholibamah; probably an Edomite clan.


ja’-lon (yalon, meaning unknown): In 1Ch 4:17, a son of Ezrah, a Judahite.





jam’-bri (hoi huioi Iambrein; 1 Macc 9:36-41): The sons of Jambri are said to have come out of Medeba (originally Med’ba), a city of the Moabites, and subsequently a possession of the Amorites, and to have carried off John, the brother of Jonathan, who succeeded Judas Maccabeus as leader of the Jews. The Israelites got possession of the place and assigned it to the tribe of Reuben. No mention is made elsewhere of the Jambri. In Josephus (Ant., XIII, i, 2) they are called "sons of Amaraeus."


jamz (Iacobos): English form of Jacob, and the name of 3 New Testament men of note:

(1) The Son of Zebedee, one of the Twelve Apostles (ho tou Zebedaiou):

A) The Son of Zebedee:

I. In the New Testament.

1. Family Relations, etc.:

To the Synoptists alone are we indebted for any account of this James. He was the son of Zebedee and the brother of John (Mt 4:21; Mr 1:19; Lu 5:10). As the Synoptists generally place the name of James before that of John, and allude to the latter as "the brother of James," it is inferred that James was the elder of the two brothers. His mother’s name was probably Salome, the sister of the mother of Jesus (compare Mt 27:56; Mr 15:40; Joh 19:25), but this is disputed by some (compare BRETHREN OF THE LORD). James was a fisherman by trade, and worked along with his father and brother (Mt 4:21). According to Lk, these were partners with Simon (5:10), and this is also implied in Mr (1:19). As they owned several boats and employed hired servants (Lu 5:11; Mr 1:20), the establishment they possessed must have been considerable.

2. First Call:

The call to James to follow Christ (Mt 4:18-22; Mr 1:16-20; Lu 5:1-11) was given by Jesus as He was walking by the sea of Galilee (Mt 4:18). There He saw "James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they straightway left the boat and their father, and followed him" (Mt 4:21,22). The account of Luke varies in part from those of Matthew and Mark, and contains the additional detail of the miraculous draught of fishes, at which James and John also were amazed. This version of Luke is regarded by some as an amalgamation of the earlier accounts with Joh 21:1-8.

3. Probation and Ordination:

As the above incident took place after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, when Jesus had departed into Galilee (Mt 4:12; Mr 1:14), and as there is no mention of James among those who received the preliminary call recorded by John (compare Joh 1:35-51; 3:24, and compare ANDREW), it is probable that while Peter and Andrew made the pilgrimage to Bethany, James and the other partners remained in Galilee to carry on the business of their trade. Yet, on the return of Peter and Andrew, the inquiries of James must have been eager concerning what they had seen and heard. His mind and imagination became filled with their glowing accounts of the newly found "Lamb of God" (Joh 1:36) and of the preaching of John the Baptist, until he inwardly dedicated his life to Jesus and only awaited an opportunity to declare his allegiance openly. By this is the apparently abrupt nature of the call, as recorded by the Synoptists, to be explained. After a period of companionship and probationership with his Master, when he is mentioned as being present at the healing of Simon’s wife’s mother at Capernaum (Mr 1:29-31), he was ordained one of the Twelve Apostles (Mt 10:2; Mr 3:17; Lu 6:14; Ac 1:13).

4. Apostleship:

From this time onward he occupied a prominent place among the apostles, and, along with Peter and John, became the special confidant of Jesus. These three alone of the apostles were present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mr 5:37; Lu 8:51), at the Transfiguration (Mr 17:1-8; Mr 9:2-8; Lu 9:28-36), and at the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-46; Mr 14:32-42). Shortly after the Transfiguration, when Jesus, having "stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem" (Lu 9:51), was passing through Samaria, the ire of James and John was kindled by the ill reception accorded to Him by the populace (Lu 9:53). They therefore asked of Jesus, "Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?" (Lu 9:54). "But he turned, and rebuked them" (Lu 9:55). It was probably this hotheaded impetuosity and fanaticism that won for them the surname "Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder," bestowed on them when they were ordained to the Twelve (Mr 3:17). Yet upon this last occasion, there was some excuse for their action. The impression left by the Transfiguration was still deep upon them, and they felt strongly that their Lord, whom they had lately beheld "in his glory" with "countenance altered" and "glistering raiment," should be subjected to such indignities by the Samaritans. Upon the occasion of Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem (Mr 10:32), the two brothers gave expression to this presumptuous impetuosity in a more selfish manner (Mr 10:35-45). Presuming on their intimacy with Jesus, they made the request of him, "Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy glory" (Mr 10:37). In the account of Matthew (20:20-28), the words are put in the mouth of their mother. The request drew forth the rebuke of Jesus (Mr 10:38), and moved the ten with indignation (Mr 10:40); but by the words of their Lord peace was again restored (Mr 10:42-45). After the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, when He "sat on the mount of Olives over against the temple," James was one of the four who put the question to Him concerning the last things (Mr 13:3,1). He was also present when the risen Jesus appeared for the 3rd time to the disciples and the miraculous draught of fishes was made at the sea of Tiberias (Joh 21:1-14).

5. Death:

James was the first martyr among the apostles, being slain by King Herod Agrippa I about 44 AD, shortly before Herod’s own death. The vehemence and fanaticism which were characteristic of James had made him to be feared and hated among the Jewish enemies of the Christians, and therefore when "Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church .... he killed James the brother of John with the sword" (Ac 12:1,2). Thus did James fulfill the prophecy of our Lord that he too should drink of the cup of his Master (Mr 10:39).

II. In Apocryphal Literature.

According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 49), "Zebedee was of the house of Levi, and his wife of the house of Judah. Now, because the father of James loved him greatly he counted him among the family of his father Levi, and similarly because the mother of John loved him greatly, she counted him among the family of her father Judah. And they were surnamed ‘Children of Thunder,’ for they were of both the priestly house and of the royal house." The Ac of John, a heretical work of the 2nd century, referred to by Clement of Alexandria in his Hypotyposis and also by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25), gives an account of the call of James and his presence at the Transfiguration, similar in part to that of the Gospels, but giving fantastic details concerning the supernatural nature of Christ’s body, and how its appearances brought confusion to James and other disciples (compare Itennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 423-59). The Ac of James in India (compare Budge, II, 295-303) tells of the missionary journey of James and Peter to India, of the appearance of Christ to them in the form of a beautiful young man, of their healing a blind man, and of their imprisonment, miraculous release, and their conversion of the people. According to the Martyrdom of James (Budge, II, 304-8), James preached to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, and persuaded them to give their first-fruits to the church instead of to Herod. The accounts of his trial and death are similar to that in Ac 12:1-2.

(1) James is the patron saint of Spain. The legend of his preaching there, of his death in Judea, of the transportation of his body under the guidance of angels to Iria and of the part that his miraculous appearances played in the history of Spain, is given in Mrs. Jameson’s Sacred and Legendary Art, I, 230-41.

(2) James the son of Alpheus (ho tou Alphaiou; for etymology, etc., of James, see above): One of the Twelve Apostles (Mt 10:3; Mr 3:18; Lu 6:15; Ac 1:13). By Matthew and Mark he is coupled with Thaddaeus, and by Luke and Ac with Simon Zelotes. As Matthew or Levi is also called the son of Alpheus (compare Mt 9:9; Mr 2:14), it is possible that he and James were brothers. According to the Genealogies of the Apostles (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 50), James was of the house of Gad. The Martyrdom of James, the son of Alpheus (compare Budge, ib, 264-66) records that James was stoned by the Jews for preaching Christ, and was "buried by the Sanctuary In Jerusalem."

This James is generally identified with James the Little or the Less, the brother of Joses and son of Mary (Mt 27:56; Mr 15:40). In Joh 19:25 this Mary is called the wife of Cleophas (the King James Version) or Clopas (Revised Version), who is thus in turn identified with Alpheus. There is evidence in apocryphal literature of a Simon, a son of Clopas, who was also one of the disciples (compare NATHANAEL). If this be the same as Simon Zelotes, it would explain why he and James (i.e. as being brothers) were coupled together in the apostolic lists of Luke and Acts. Some have applied the phrase "his mother’s sister" in Joh 19:25 to Mary the wife of Clopas, instead of to a separate person, and have thus attempted to identify James the son of Alpheus with James the brother of our Lord. For a further discussion of the problem, see BRETHREN OF THE LORD.

(3) James, "the Lord’s brother" (ho adelphos tou Kuriou):he Less, the brother of Joses and son of Mary (Mt 27:56; Mr 15:40). In Joh 19:25 this Mary is called the wife of Cleophas (the King James Version) or Clopas (Revised Version), who is thus in turn identified with Alpheus. There is evidence in apocryphal literature of a Simon, a son of Clopas, who was also one of the disciples (compare NATHANAEL). If this be the same as Simon Zelotes, it would explain why he and James (i.e. as being brothers) were coupled together in the apostolic lists of Luke and Acts. Some have applied the phrase "his mother’s sister" in Joh 19:25 to Mary the wife of Clopas, instead of to a separate person, and have thus attempted to identify James the son of Alpheus with James the brother of our Lord. For a further discussion of the problem, see BRETHREN OF THE LORD.

B) James, "The Lord’s Brother":

I. New Testament References.

1. In the Gospels:

This James is mentioned by name only twice in the Gospels, i.e. when, on the visit of Jesus to Nazareth, the countrymen of our Lord referred in contemptuous terms to His earthly kindred, in order to disparage His preaching (Mt 13:55; Mr 6:3). As James was one of "his brethren," he was probably among the group of Christ’s relatives who sought to interview Him during His tour through Galilee with the Twelve (Mt 12:46). By the same reasoning, he accompanied Jesus on His journey to Capernaum (Joh 2:12), and joined in attempting to persuade Him to depart from Galilee for Judea on the eve of the Feast of Tabernacles (Joh 7:3). At this feast James was present (Joh 7:10), but was at this time a non-believer in Jesus (compare Joh 7:5, "Even his brethren did not believe on him").

2. In the Epistles:

Yet the seeds of conversion were being sown within him, for, after the crucifixion, he remained in Jerusalem with his mother and brethren, and formed one of that earliest band of believers who "with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer" (Ac 1:14). While there, he probably took part in the election of Matthias to the vacant apostleship (Ac 1:15-25). James was one of the earliest witnesses to the resurrection, for, after the risen Lord had manifested Himself to the five hundred, "he was seen of James" (1Co 15:7 the King James Version). By this his growing belief and prayerful expectancy received confirmation. About 37 or 38 AD, James, "the Lord’s brother" (Ga 1:19), was still in Jerusalem, and had an interview there for the first time with Paul, when the latter returned from his 3 years’ sojourn in Damascus to visit Cephas, or Peter (Ga 1:18,19; compare Ac 9:26). In several other passages the name of James is coupled with that of Peter. Thus, when Peter escaped from prison (about 44 AD), he gave instructions to those in the house of John Mark that they should immediately inform "James and the brethren" of the manner of his escape (Ac 12:17). By the time of the Jerusalem convention, i.e. about 51 AD (compare Ga 2:1), James had reached the position of first overseer in the church (compare Ac 15:13,19). Previous to this date, during Paul’s ministry at Antioch, he had dispatched certain men thither to further the mission, and the teaching of these had caused dissension among the newly converted Christians and their leaders (Ac 15:1,2; Ga 2:12). The conduct of Peter, over whom James seems to have had considerable influence, was the principal matter of contention (compare Ga 2:11 if). However, at the Jerusalem convention the dispute was amicably settled, and the pillars of the church, James, John and Cephas, gave to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (Ga 2:9). The speech of James on this occasion (Ac 15:13-29), his sympathy with the religious needs of the Gentileworld (Ac 15:17), his desire that formalism should raise no barrier to their moral and spiritual advancement (Ac 15:19,20,28,29), and his large-hearted tributes to the "beloved Barnabas and Paul" (Ac 15:25,26), indicate that James was a leader in whom the church was blessed, a leader who loved peace more than faction, the spirit more than the law, and who perceived that religious communities with different forms of observance might still live and work together in common allegiance to Christ. Once more (58 AD), James was head of the council at Jerusalem when Paul made report of his labors, this time of his 3rd missionary Journey (Ac 21:17 ). At this meeting Paul was admonished for exceeding the orders he had received at the first council, in that he had endeavored to persuade the converted Jews also to neglect circumcision (Ac 21:21), and was commanded to join in the vow of purification (Ac 21:23-26). There is no Scriptural account of the death of James From 1Co 9:5 it has been inferred that he was married. This is, however, only a conjecture, as the passage refers to those who "lead about a sister, a wife" (the King James Version), while, so far as we know, James remained throughout his life in Jerusalem.

This James has been regarded as the author of the Epistle of James, "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ"; compare JAMES, EPISTLE OF. Also, for details concerning his relationship to Christ, compare BRETHREN OF THE LORD.

II. References in Apocryphal Literature.

James figures in one of the miraculous events recorded in the Gnostic "Gospel of the Infancy, by Thomas the Israelite philosopher," being cured of a snake-bite by the infant Jesus (compare Hennecke, Handbuch zu den neutestamentlichen Apokryphen, 73). According to the Gospel of the Hebrews (compare ib, 11-21), James had also partaken of the cup of the Lord, and refused to eat till he had seen the risen Lord. Christ acknowledged this tribute by appearing to James first. In the Ac of Peter (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 475), it is stated that "three days after the ascension of our Lord into heaven, James, whom our Lord called his ‘brother in the flesh,’ consecrated the Offering and we all drew nigh to partake thereof: and when ten days had passed after the ascension of our Lord, we all assembled in the holy fortress of Zion, and we stood up to say the prayer of sanctification, and we made supplication unto God and besought Him with humility, and James also entreated Him concerning the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Offering." The Preaching of James the Just (compare Budge, II, 78-81) tells of the appointment of James to the bishopric of Jerusalem, of his preaching, healing of the sick and casting out of devils there. This is confirmed by the evidence of Clement of Alexandria (Euseb., HE, II, 1). In the Martyrdom of James the Just (compare Budge, II, 82-89), it is stated that J., "the youngest of the sons of Joseph," alienated, by his preaching, Piobsata from her husband Ananus, the governor of Jerusalem. Ananus therefore inflamed the Jews against James, and they hurled him down from off the pinnacle of the temple. Hegesippus, quoted by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 23), and Josephus (Ant., XX, ix, 1), testify to the general truth of this. It is thus probable that James was martyred about 62 or 63 AD.

Besides the epistle which bears his name, James was also the reputed author of the Protevangelium Jacobi, a work which originated in the 2nd century and received later additions (compare Henn, NA, 47-63; also JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY).

C. M. Kerr



1. Jewish

2. Authoritative

3. Practical



1. Plainness

2. Good Greek

3. Vividness

4. Duadiplosis

5. Figures of Speech

6. Unlikeness to Paul

7. Likeness to Jesus




1. To the Pietist

2. To the Sociologist

3. To the Student of the Life and Character of Jesus


I. Characteristics of the Epistle.

1. Jewish:

The Epistle of James is the most Jewish writing in the New Testament. The Gospel according to Matthew was written for the Jews. The Epistle to the Hebrews is addressed explicitly to them. The Apocalypse is full of the spirit of the Old Testament. The Epistle of Jude is Jewish too. Yet all of these books have more of the distinctively Christian element in them than we can find in the Epistle of James. If we eliminate two or three passages containing references to Christ, the whole epistle might find its place iust as properly in the Canon of the Old Testament as in that of the New Testament, as far as its substance of doctrine and contents is concerned. That could not be said Of any other book in the New Testament. There is no mention of the incarnation or of the resurrection., the two fundamental facts of the Christian faith. The word "gospel" does not occur in the epistle There is no suggestion that the Messiah has appeared and no presentation of the possibility of redemption through Him. The teaching throughout is that of a lofty morality which aims at the fulfillment of the requirements of the Mosaic law. It is not strange therefore that Spitta and others have thought that we have in the Epistle of James a treatise written by an unconverted Jew which has been adapted to Christian use by the interpolation of the two phrases containing the name of Christ in 1:1 and 2:1. Spitta thinks that this can be the only explanation of the fact that we have here an epistle practically ignoring the life and work of Jesus and every distinctively Christian doctrine, and without a trace of any of the great controversies in the early Christian church or any of the specific features of its propaganda. This judgment is a superficial one, and rests upon superficial indications rather than any appreciation of the underlying spirit and principles of the book. The spirit of Christ is here, and there is no need to label it. The principles of this epistle are the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. There are more parallels to that Sermon in this epistle than can be found anywhere else in the New Testament in the same space. The epistle represents the idealization of Jewish legalism under the transforming influence of the Christian motive and life. It is not a theological discussion. It is an ethical appeal. It has to do with the outward life for the most part, and the life it pictures is that of a Jew informed with the spirit of Christ. The spirit is invisible in the epistle as in the individual man. It is the body which appears and the outward life with which that body has to do. The body of the epistle is Jewish, and the outward life to which it exhorts is that of a profoundly pious Jew. The Jews familiar with the Old Testament would read this epistle and find its language and tone that to which they were accustomed in their sacred books. James is evidently written by a Jew for Jews. It is Jewish in character throughout. This is apparent in the following particulars:

(1) The epistle is addressed to the 12 tribes which are of the Dispersion (11). The Jews were scattered abroad through the ancient world. From Babylon to Rome, wherever any community of them might be gathered for commercial or social purposes, these exhortations could be carried and read. Probably the epistle was circulated most widely in Syria and Asia Minor, but it may have gone out to the ends of the earth. Here and there in the ghettos of the Roman Empire, groups of the Jewish exiles would gather and listen while one of their number read this letter from home. All of its terms and its allusions would recall familiar home scenes.

(2) Their meeting-place is called "your synagogue" (2:2).

(3) Abraham is mentioned as "our father" (2:21).

(4) God is given the Old Testament name, "the Lord of Sabaoth" (5:4).

(5) The law is not to be spoken against nor judged, but reverently and loyally obeyed. It is a royal law to which every loyal Jew will be subject. It is a law of liberty, to be freely obeyed (2:8-12; 4:11).

(6) The sins of the flesh are not inveighed against in the epistle, but those sins to which the Jews were more conspicuously liable, such as the love of money and the distinction which money may bring (2:2-4), worldliness and pride (4:4-6), impatience and murmuring (5:7-11), and other sins of the temper and tongue (3:1-12; 4:11,12).

(7) The illustrations of faithfulness and patience and prayer are found in Old Testament characters, in Abraham (2:21), Rahab (2:25), Job (Jas 5:11), and Elijah (Jas 5:17,18). The whole atmosphere of the epistle is Jewish.

2. Authoritative:

The writer of this epistle speaks as one having authority. He is not on his defense, as Paul so often is. There is no trace of apology in his presentation of the truth. His official position must have been recognized and unquestioned. He is as sure of his standing with his readers as he is of the absoluteness of his message.

No Old Testament lawgiver or prophet was more certain that he spoke the word of the Lord. He has the vehemence of Elijah and the assured meekness of Moses. He has been called "the Amos of the New Testament," and there are paragraphs which recall the very expressions used by Amos and which are full of the same fiery eloquence and prophetic fervor. Both fill their writings with metaphors drawn from the sky and the sea, from natural objects and domestic experiences. Both seem to be countrybred and to be in sympathy with simplicity and poverty. Both inveigh against the luxury and the cruelty of the idle rich, and both abhor the ceremonial and the ritual which are substituted for individual righteousness. Malachi was not the last of the prophets. John the Baptist was not the last prophet of the Old Dispensation. The writer of this epistle stands at the end of that prophetic line, and he is greater than John the Baptist or any who have preceded him because he stands within the borders of the kingdom of Christ. He speaks with authority, as a messenger of God. He belongs to the goodly fellowship of the prophets and of the apostles. He has the authority of both. There are 54 imperatives in the 108 verses of this epistle.

3. Practical:

The epistle is interested in conduct more than in creed. It has very little formulated theology, less than any other epistle in the New Testament; but it insists upon practical morality throughout. It begins and it closes with an exhortation to patience and prayer. It preaches a gospel of good works, based upon love to God and love to man. It demands liberty, equality, fraternity for all. It enjoins humility and justice and peace. It prescribes singleness of purpose and stedfastness of soul. It requires obedience to the law, control of the passions, and control of the tongue. Its ideal is to be found in a good life, characterized by the meekness of wisdom. The writer of the epistle has caught the spirit of the ancient prophets, but the lessons that he teaches are taken, for the most part, from the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha. His direct quotations are from the Pentateuch and the Book of Proverbs; but it has been estimated that there are 10 allusions to the Book of Proverbs, 6 to the Book of Job, 5 to the Book of Wisdom, and 15 to the Book of Ecclesiasticus. This Wisdom literature furnishes the staple of his meditation and the substance of his teaching. He has little or nothing to say about the great doctrines of the Christian church.

He has much to say about the wisdom that cometh down from above and is pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy (Jas 3:15-17). The whole epistle shows that the author had stored his mind with the rich treasure of the ancient wisdom, and his material, while offered as his own, is both old and new. The form is largely that of the Wisdom literature of the Jews. It has more parallels with Jesus the son of Sirach than with any writer of the sacred books.

The substance of its exhortation, however, is to be found in the Synoptics and more particularly in the Sermon on the Mount. Its wisdom is the wisdom of Jesus the son of Joseph, who is the Christ.

These are the three outstanding characteristics of this epistle In form and on the surface it is the most Jewish and least Christian of the writings in the New Testament. Its Christianity is latent and not apparent. Yet it is the most authoritative in its tone of any of the epistles in the New Testament, unless it be those of the apostle John. John must have occupied a position of undisputed primacy in the Christian church after the death of all the other apostles, when he wrote his epistles. It is noteworthy that the writer of this epistle assumes a tone of like authority with that of John. John was the apostle of love, Paul of faith, and Peter of hope. This writer is the apostle of good works, the apostle of the wisdom which manifests itself in peace and purity, mercy and morality, and in obedience to the royal law, the law of liberty. In its union of Jewish form, authoritative tone, and insistence upon practical morality, the epistle is unique among the New Testament books.

II. Author of the Epistle.

The address of the epistle states that the writer is "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Jas 1:1). The tradition of the church has identified this James with the brother of our Lord. Clement of Alexandria says that Peter and James and John, who were the three apostles most honored of the Lord, chose James, the Lord’s brother, to be the bishop of Jerusalem after the Lord’s ascension (Euscb., HE, II, 1). This tradition agrees well with all the notices of James in the New Testament books. After the death of James the brother of John, Peter was thrown into prison, and having been miraculously released, he asked that the news be sent to James and to the brethren (Ac 12:17). This James is evidently in authority in the church at this time. In the apostolical conference held at Jerusalem, after Peter and Paul and Barnabas had spoken, this same James sums up the whole discussion, and his decision is adopted by the assembly and formulated in a letter which has some very striking parallels in its phraseology to this epistle (Ac 15:6-29). When Paul came to Jerusalem for the last time he reported his work to James and all the elders present with him (Ac 21:18). In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul says that at the time of one of his visits to Jerusalem he saw none of the apostles save Peter and James the Lord’s brother (Ga 1:18,19). At another visit he received the right hand of fellowship from James and Cephas and John (Ga 2:9). At a later time certain who came from James to Antioch led Peter into backsliding from his former position of tolerance of the Gentiles as equals in the Christian church (Ga 2:12).

All of these references would lead us to suppose that James stood in a position of supreme authority in the mother-church at Jerusalem, the oldest church of Christendom. He presides in the assemblies of the church. He speaks the final and authoritative word. Peter and Paul defer to him. Paul mentions his name before that of Peter and John. When he was exalted to this leadership we do not know, but all indications seem to point to the fact that at a very early period James was the recognized executive authority in the church at Jerusalem, which was the church of Pentecost and the church of the apostles. All Jews looked to Jerusalem as the chief seat of their worship and the central authority of their religion. All Christian Jews would look to Jerusalem as the primitive source of their organization and faith, and the head of the church at Jerusalem would be recognized by them as their chief authority. The authoritative tone of this epistle comports well with this position of primacy ascribed to James.

All tradition agrees in describing James as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a man of the most rigid and ascetic morality, faithful in his observance of all the ritual regulations of the Jewish faith. Hegesippus tells us that he was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank no wine nor strong drink. He ate no flesh. He alone was permitted to enter with the priests into the holy place, and he was found there frequently upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, and his knees became hard like those of a camel in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God and asking forgiveness for the people (Euseb., HE, II, 23). He was called James the Just. All had confidence in his sincerity and integrity, and many were persuaded by him to believe on the Christ. This Jew, faithful in the observance of all that the Jews held sacred, and more devoted to the temple-worship than the most pious among them, was a good choice for the head of the Christian church. The blood of David flowed in his veins. He had all the Jew’s pride in the special privileges of the chosen race. The Jews respected him and the Christians revered him. No man among them commanded the esteem of the entire population as much as he.

Josephus (Ant., XX, ix) tells us that Ananus the high priest had James stoned to death, and that the most equitable of the citizens immediately rose in revolt against such a lawless procedure, and Ananus was deposed after only three months’ rule. This testimony of Josephus simply substantiates all that we know from other sources concerning the high standing of James in the whole community. Hegesippus says that James was first thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, and then they stoned him because he was not killed by the fall, and he was finally beaten over the head with a fuller’s club; and then he adds significantly, "Immediately Vespasian besieged them" (Euscb., HE, II, 23). There would seem to have been quite a widespread conviction among both the Christians and the Jews that the afflictions which fell upon the holy city and the chosen people in the following years were in part a visitation because of the great crime of the murder of this just man. We can understand how a man with this reputation and character would write an epistle so Jewish in form and substance and so insistent in its demands for a practical morality as is the Epistle of James. All the characteristics of the epistle seem explicable on the supposition of authorship by James the brother of the Lord. We accept the church tradition without hesitation.

III. The Style of the Epistle.

1. Plainness:

The sentence construction is simple and straightforward. It reminds us of the English of Bunyan and DeFoe. There is usually no good reason for misunderstanding anything James says. He puts his truth plainly, and the words he uses have no hidden or mystical meanings. His thought is transparent as his life.

2. Good Greek:

It is somewhat surprising to find that the Greek of the Epistle of James is better than that of the other New Testament writers, with the single exception of the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Of course this may be due to the fact that James had the services of an amanuensis who was a Greek scholar, or that his own manuscript was revised by such a man; but, although unexpected, it is not impossible that James himself may have been capable of writing such Greek as this.

It is not the good Greek of the classics, and it is not the poor and provincial Greek of Paul. There is more care for literary form than in the uncouth periods Of the Gentile apostle, and the vocabulary would seem to indicate an acquaintance with the literary as well as the commercial and the conversational Greek "Galilee was studded with Greek towns, and it was certainly in the power of any Galilean to gain a knowledge of Greek .... We may reasonably suppose that our author would not have scrupled to avail himself of the opportunities within his reach, so as to master the Greek language, and learn something of Greek philosophy. This would be natural, even if we think of James as impelled only by a desire to gain wisdom and knowledge for himself; but if we think of him also as the principal teacher of the Jewish believers, many of whom were Hellenists, instructed in the wisdom of Alexandria, then the natural bent would take the shape of duty: he would be a student of Greek in order that he might be a more effective instructor to his own people" (Mayor, The Epistle of James, ccxxxvi). The Greek of the epistle is the studied Greek of one who was not a native to it, but who had familiarized himself with its literature. James could have done so and the epistle may be proof that he did.

3. Vividness:

James is never content to talk in abstractions. He always sets a picture before his own eyes and those of his readers. He has the dramatic instinct. He has the secret of sustained interest. He is not discussing things in general but things in particular. He is an artist and believes in concrete realities. At the same time he has a touch of poetry in him, and a fine sense of the analogies running through all Nature and all life. The doubting man is like the sea spume (1:6). The rich man fades away in his goings, even as the beauty of the flower falls and perishes (1:11). The synagogue scene with its distinction between the rich and the poor is set before us with the clear-cut impressiveness of a cameo (2:1-4). The Pecksniffian philanthropist, who seems to think that men can be fed not by bread alone but by the words that proceed magnificently from his mouth, is pilloried here for all time (2:15,16). The untamable tongue that is set on fire of hell is put in the full blaze of its world of iniquity, and the damage it does is shown to be like that of a forest fire (3:1-12). The picture of the wisdom that comes from above with its sevenfold excellences of purity, peaceableness, gentleness, mercy, fruitfulness, impartiality, sincerity, is worthy to hang in the gallery of the world’s masterpieces (3:17). The vaunting tradesmen, whose lives are like vanishing vapor, stand there before the eyes of all in Jerusalem (4:13-16). The rich, whose luxuries he describes even while he denounces their cruelties and prophesies their coming day of slaughter, are the rich who walk the streets of his own city (5:1-6). His short sentences go like shots straight to the mark. We feel the impact and the impress of them. There is an energy behind them and a reality in them that makes them live in our thought. His abrupt questions are like the quick interrogations of a cross-examining lawyer (2:4-7,14,16; 3:11,12; 4:1,4,5,12,14). His proverbs have the intensity of the accumulated and compressed wisdom of the ages. They are irreducible minimums. They are memorable sayings, treasured in the speech of the world ever since his day.

4. Duadiplosis:

Sometimes James adds sentence to sentence with the repetition of some leading word or phrase (1:1-6,19-24; 3:2-8). It is the painful style of one who is not altogether at home with the language which he has chosen as the vehicle of his thought. It is the method by which a discussion could be continued indefinitely. Nothing but the vividness of the imagery and the intensity of the thought saves James from fatal monotony in the use of this device.

5. Figures of Speech:

James has a keen eye for illustrations. He is not blind to the beauties and wonders of Nature. He sees what is happening on every hand, and he is quick to catch any homiletical suggestion it may hold. Does he stand by the seashore? The surge that is driven by the wind and tossed reminds him of the man who is unstable in all his ways, because he has no anchorage of faith, and his convictions are like driftwood on a sea of doubt (1:6). Then he notices that the great ships are turned about by a small rudder, and he thinks how the tongue is a small member, but it accomplishes great things (3:4,5). Does he walk under the sunlight and rejoice in it as the source of so many good and perfect gifts? He sees in it an image of the goodness of God that is never eclipsed and never exhausted, unvarying for evermore (1:17). He uses the natural phenomena of the land in which he lives to make his meaning plain at every turn: the flower of the field that passes away (1:10,11), the forest fire that sweeps the mountain side and like a living torch lights up the whole land (3:5), the sweet and salt springs (3:11), the fig trees and the olive trees and the vines (3:12), the seed-sowing and the fruit-bearing (3:18), the morning mist immediately lost to view (4:14), the early and the latter rain for which the husbandman waiteth patiently (5:7).

There is more of the appreciation of Nature in this one short epistle of Jas than in all the epistles of Paul put together. Human life was more interesting to Paul than natural scenery. However, James is interested in human life just as profoundly as Paul. He is constantly endowing inanimate things with living qualities. He represents sin as a harlot, conceiving and bringing forth death (1:15). The word of truth has a like power and conceives and brings forth those who live to God’s praise (1:18). Pleasures are like joyful hosts of enemies in a tournament, who deck themselves bravely and ride forth with singing and laughter, but whose mission is to wage war and to kill (4:1,2). The laborers may be dumb in the presence of the rich because of their dependence and their fear, but their wages, fraudulently withheld, have a tongue, and cry out to high heaven for vengeance (5:4). What is friendship with the world? It is adultery, James says (4:4). The rust of unjust riches testifies against those who have accumulated them, and then turns upon them and eats their flesh like fire (5:3). James observed the man who glanced at himself in the mirror in the morning, and saw that his face was not clean, and who went away and thought no more about it for that whole day, and he found in him an illustration of the one who heard the word and did not do it (1:23,14). The epistle is full of these rhetorical figures, and they prove that James was something of a poet at heart, even as Jesus was. He writes in prose, but there is a marked rhythm in all of his speech. He has an ear for harmony as he has an eye for beauty everywhere.

6. Unlikeness to Paul:

The Pauline epistles begin with salutations and close with benedictions. They are filled with autobiographical touches and personal messages. None of these things appear here. The epistle begins and ends with all abruptness. It has an address, but no thanksgiving. There are no personal messages and no indications of any intimate personal relationship between the author and his readers. They are his "beloved brethren." He knows their needs and their sins, but he may never have seen their faces or visited their homes. The epistle is more like a prophet’s appeal to a nation than a personal letter.

7. Likeness to Jesus:

Both the substance of the teaching and the method of its presentation remind us of the discourses of Jesus. James says less about the Master than any other writer in the New Testament, but his speech is more like that of the Master than the speech of any one of them. There are at least ten parallels to the Sermon on the Mount in this short epistle, and for almost everything that James has to say we can recall some statement of Jesus which might have suggested it. When the parallels fail at any point, we are inclined to suspect that James may be repeating some unrecorded utterance of our Lord. He seems absolutely faithful to his memory of his brother’s teaching. He is the servant of Jesus in all his exhortation and persuasion.

Did the Master shock His disciples’ faith by the loftiness of the Christian ideal He set before them in His great sermon, "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48)? James sets the same high standard in the very forefront of his ep.: "Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing" (1:4). Did the Master say, "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Mt 7:7)? James says, "If any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God ....; and it shall be given him" (1:5). Did the Master add a condition to His sweeping promise to prayer and say, "Whosoever .... shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he faith cometh to pass; he shall have it" (Mr 11:23)? James hastens to add the same condition, "Let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed" (1:6). Did the Master close the great sermon with His parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man, saying, "Every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man. And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man" (Mt 7:24,26)? James is much concerned about wisdom, and therefore he exhorts his readers, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves" (1:22). Had the Master declared, "If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them" (Joh 13:17)? James echoes the thought when he says, "A doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing" (1:25). Did the Master say to the disciples, "Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God" (Lu 6:20)? James has the same sympathy with the poor, and he says, "Hearken, my beloved brethren; did not God choose them that are poor as to the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him?" (2:5). Did the Master inveigh against the rich, and say, "Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you, ye that are full now! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you, ye that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep" (Lu 6:24,25)? James bursts forth into the same invective and prophesies the same sad reversal of fortune, "Come now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you" (5:1). "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness" (4:8,9). Had Jesus said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Mt 7:1)? James repeats the exhortation, "Speak not one against another, brethren. He that .... judgeth his brother .... judgeth the law: .... but who art thou that judgest thy neighbor?" (4:11,12). Had Jesus said, "Whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Mt 23:12)? We find the very words in James, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you" (4:10). Had Jesus said, "I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet. .... But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one" (Mt 5:34-37)? Here in James we come upon the exact parallel: "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgment" (5:12). We remember how the Master began the Sermon on the Mount with the declaration that even those who mourned and were persecuted and reviled and reproached were blessed, in spite of all their suffering and trial. Then we notice that James begins his epistle with the same paradoxical putting of the Christian faith, "Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold trials" (1:12, the American Revised Version margin). We remember how Jesus proceeded in His sermon to set forth the spiritual significance and the assured permanence of the law; and we notice that James treats the law with the same respect and puts upon it the same high value. He calls it "the perfect law" (1:25), "the royal law" (2:8), the "law of liberty" (2:12). We remember what Jesus said about forgiving others in order that we ourselves may be forgiven; and we know where James got his authority for saying, "Judgment is without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy" (2:13). We remember all that the Master said about good trees and corrupt trees being known by their fruits, "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Mt 7:16-20). Then in the Epistle of James we find a like question, "Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs?" (3:12). We remember that the Master said, "Know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors" (Mt 24:33). We are not surprised to find the statement here in James, "Behold, the judge standeth before the doors" (5:9). These reminiscences of the sayings of the Master meet us on every page. It may be that there are many more of them than we are able to identify. Their number is sufficiently large, however, to show us that James is steeped in the truths taught by Jesus, and not only their substance but their phraseology constantly reminds us of Him.

IV. Date of the Epistle.

There are those who think that the Epistle of James is the oldest epistle in the New Testament. Among those who favor an early date are Mayor, Plumptre, Alford, Stanley, Renan, Weiss, Zahn, Beyschlag, Neander, Schneckenburger, Thiersch, and Dods.

The reasons assigned for this conclusion are: (1) the general Judaic tone of the ep., which seems to antedate admission of the Gentiles in any alarming numbers into the church; but since the epistle is addressed only to Jews, why should the Gentiles be mentioned in it, whatever its date? and (2) the fact that Paul and Peter are supposed to have quoted from James in their writing; but this matter of quotation is always an uncertain one, and it has been ably argued that the quotation has been the other way about.

Others think that the epistle was written toward the close of James’s life. Among these are Kern, Wiesinger, Schmidt, Bruckner, Wordsworth, and Farrar.

These argue

(1) that the epistle gives evidence of a considerable lapse of time in the history of the church, sufficient to allow of a declension from the spiritual fervor of Pentecost and the establishment of distinctions among the brethren; but any of the sins mentioned in the epistle in all probability could have been found in the church in any decade of its history.

(2) James has a position of established authority, and those to whom he writes are not recent converts but members in long standing; but the position of James may have been established from a very early date, and in an encyclical of this sort we could not expect any indication of shorter or longer membership in the church. Doubtless some of those addressed were recent converts, while others may have been members for many years.

(3) There are references to persecutions and trials which fit the later rather than the earlier date; but all that is said on this subject might be suitable in any period of the presidency of James at Jerusalem.

(4) There are indications of a long and disappointing delay in the Second Coming of the Lord in the repeated exhortation to patience in waiting for it; but on the other hand James says, "The coming of the Lord is at hand," and "The judge standeth before the doors" (5:7-9). The same passage is cited in proof of a belief that the immediate appearance of the Lord was expected, as in the earliest period of the church, and in proof that there had been a disappointment of this earlier belief and that it had been succeeded by a feeling that there was need of patience in waiting for the coming so long delayed.

It seems clear to us that there are no decisive proofs in favor of any definite date for the epistle. It must have been written before the martyrdom of James in the year 63 AD, and at some time during his presidency over the church at Jerusalem; but there is nothing to warrant us in coming to any more definite conclusion than that Davidson, Hilgenfeld, Baur, Zeller, Hausrath, von Soden, Julicher, Harnack, Bacon and others date the epistle variously in the post-Pauline period, 69-70 to 140-50 AD. The arguments for any of these dates fall far short of proof, rest largely if not wholly upon conjectures and presuppositions, and of course are inconsistent with any belief in the authorship by James.

V. History of the Epistle.

Eusebius classed Jas among those whose authenticity was disputed by some. "James is said to be the author of the first of the so-called Catholic Epistles. But it is to be observed that it is disputed; at least, not many of the ancients have mentioned it, as is the case likewise with the epistle that bears the name of Jude, which is also one of the seven so-called Catholic Epistles. Nevertheless, we know that these also, with the rest, have been read publicly in most churches" (Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 23). Eusebius himself, however, quotes Jas 4:11 as Scripture and Jas 5:13 as spoken by the holy apostle. Personally he does not seem disposed to question the genuineness of the epistle. There are parallels in phraseology which make it possible that the epistle is quoted in Clement of Rome in the 1st century, and in Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, the Epistle to Diognetus, Irenaeus, and Hermas in the 2nd century. It is omitted in the canonical list of the Muratorian Fragment and was not included in the Old Latin version. Origen seems to be the first writer to quote the epistle explicitly as Scripture and to assert that it was written by James the brother of the Lord. It appears in the Peshitta version and seems to have been generally recognized in the East. Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Ephraem of Edessa, Didymus of Alexandria, received it as canonical. The 3rd Council of Carthage in 397 AD finally settled its status for the Western church, and from that date in both the East and the West its canonicity was unquestioned until the time of the Reformation.

Erasmus and Cajetan revived the old doubts concerning it. Luther thought it contradicted Paul and therefore banished it to the appendix of his Bible. "James," he says, "has aimed to refute those who relied on faith without works, and is too weak for his task in mind, understanding, and words, mutilates the Scriptures, and thus directly contradicts Paul and all Scriptures, seeking to accomplish by enforcing the law what the apostles successfully effect by love. Therefore, I will not place his Epistle in my Bible among the proper leadingbooks" (Werke, XIV, 148). He declared that it was a downright strawy epistle, as compared with such as those to the Romans and to the Galatians, and it had no real evangelical character. This judgment of Luther is a very hasty and regrettable one. The modern church has refused to accept it, and it is generally conceded now that Paul and James are in perfect agreement with each other, though their presentation of the same truth from opposite points of view brings them into apparent contradiction. Paul says, "By grace have ye been saved through faith .... not of works, that no man should glory" (Eph 2:8,9). "We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law" (Ro 3:28). James says, "Faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself" (2:17). "Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith (2:24). With these passages before him Luther said, "Many have toiled to reconcile Paul with James .... but to no purpose, for they are contrary, ‘Faith justifies’;‘ Faith does not justify’; I will pledge my life that no one can reconcile those propositions; and if he succeeds he may call me a fool" (Colloquia, II, 202).

It would be difficult to prove Luther a fool if Paul and James were using these words, faith, works, and justification, in the same sense, or even if each were writing with full consciousness of what the other had written. They both use Abraham for an example, James of justification by works, and Paul of justification by faith. How can that be possible? The faith meant by James is the faith of a dead orthodoxy, an intellectual assent to the dogmas of the church which does not result in any practical righteousness in life, such a faith as the demons have when they believe in the being of God and simply tremble before Him. The faith meant by Paul is intellectual and moral and spiritual, affects the whole man, and leads him into conscious and vital union and communion with God. It is not the faith of demons; it is the faith that redeems. Again, the works meant by Paul are the works of a dead legalism, the works done under a sense of compulsion or from a feeling of duty, the works done in obedience to a law which is a taskmaster, the works of a slave and not of a son. These dead works, he declares, can never give life. The works meant by James are the works of a believer, the fruit of the faith and love born in every believer’s heart and manifest in every believer’s life. The possession of faith will insure this evidence in his daily conduct and conversation; and without this evidence the mere profession of faith will not save him. The justification meant by Paul is the initial justification of the Christian life. No doing of meritorious deeds will make a man worthy of salvation. He comes into the kingdom, not on the basis of merit but on the basis of grace. The sinner is converted not by doing anything, but by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. He approaches the threshold of the kingdom and he finds that he has no coin that is current there. He cannot buy his way in by good works; he must accept salvation by faith, as the gift of God’s free grace. The justification meant by James is the justification of any after-moment in the Christian life, and the final justification before the judgment throne. Good works are inevitable in the Christian life. There can be no assurance of salvation without them.

Paul is looking at the root; James is looking at the fruit. Paul is talking about the beginning of the Christian life; James is talking about its continuance and consummation. With Paul, the works he renounces precede faith and are dead works. With James, the faith he denounces is apart from works and is a dead faith.

Paul believes in the works of godliness just as much as James. He prays that God may establish the Thessalonians in every good work (2Th 2:17). He writes to the Corinthians that "God is able to make all grace abound unto" them; that they, "having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work" (2Co 9:8). He declares to the Ephesians that "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them" (Eph 2:10). He makes a formal statement of his faith in Romans: God "will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Ro 2:6-10). This is the final justification discussed by James, and it is just as clearly a judgment by works with Paul as with him.

On the other hand James believes in saving faith as well as Paul. He begins with the statement that the proving of our faith works patience and brings perfection (1:3,1). He declares that the prayer of faith will bring the coveted wisdom (1:6). He describes the Christian profession as a holding

"the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory" (2:1). He says that the poor as to the world are rich in faith, and therefore heirs to the kingdom (2:5). He quotes the passage from Genesis, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness" (2:23), and he explicitly asserts that Abraham’s "faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect" (2:22). The faith mentioned in all these passages is the faith of the professing Christian; it is not the faith which the sinner exercises in accepting salvation. James and Paul are at one in declaring that faith and works must go hand in hand in the Christian life, and that in the Christian’s experience both faith without works is dead and works without faith are dead works. They both believe in faith working through love as that which alone will avail in Christ Jesus (Ga 5:6). Fundamentally they agree. Superficially they seem to contradict each other. That is because they are talking about different things and using the same terms with different meanings for those terms in mind.

VI. Message of the Epistle to Our Times.

1. To the Pietist:

There are those who talk holiness and are hypocrites; those who make profession of perfect love and yet cannot live peaceably with their brethren; those who are full of pious phraseology but fail in practical philanthropy. This epistle was written for them. It may not give them much comfort, but it ought to give them much profit. The mysticism that contents itself with pious frames and phrases and comes short in actual sacrifice and devoted service will find its antidote here. The antinomianism that professes great confidence in free grace, but does not recognize the necessity for corresponding purity of life, needs to ponder the practical wisdom of this epistle. The quietists who are satisfied to sit and sing themselves away to everlasting bliss ought to read this epistle until they catch its bugle note of inspiration to present activity and continuous good deeds. All who are long on theory and short on practice ought to steep themselves in the spirit of James; and since there are such people in every community and in every age, the message of the epistle will never grow old.

2. To the Sociologist:

The sociological problems are to the front today. The old prophets were social reformers, and James is most like them in the New Testament. Much that he says is applicable to present-day conditions. He lays down the right principles for practical philanthropy, and the proper relationships between master and man, and between man and man. If the teachings of this epistle were put into practice throughout the church it would mean the revitalization of Christianity. It would prove that the Christian religion was practical and workable, and it would go far to establish the final brotherhood of man in the service of God.

3. To the Student of the Life and Character of Jesus:

The life of our Lord is the most important life in the history of the race. It will always be a subject of the deepest interest and study. Modern research has penetrated every contributory realm for any added light upon the heredity and the environment of Jesus. The people and the land, archaeology and contemporary history, have been cultivated intensively and extensively for any modicum of knowledge they might add to our store of information concerning the Christ. We suggest that there is a field here to which sufficient attention has not yet been given. James was the brother of the Lord. His epistle tells us much about himself. On the supposition that he did not exhort others to be what he would not furnish them an example in being, we read in this epistle his own character writ large. He was like his brother in so many things. As we study the life and character of James we come to know more about the life and character of Jesus.

Jesus and James had the same mother. From her they had a common inheritance. As far as they reproduced their mother’s characteristics they were alike. They had the same home training. As far as the father in that home could succeed in putting the impress of his own personality upon the boys, they would be alike. It is noticeable in this connection that Joseph is said in the Gospel to have been "a just man" (Mt 1:19 the King James Version), and that James came to be known through all the early church as James the Just, and that in his epistle he gives this title to his brother, Jesus, when he says of the unrighteous rich of Jerusalem, "Ye have condemned and killed the just" man (5:6 the King James Version). Joseph was just, and James was just, and Jesus was just. The brothers were alike, and they were like the father in this respect. The two brothers seem to think alike and talk alike to a most remarkable degree. They represent the same home surroundings and human environment, the same religious training and inherited characteristics. Surely, then, all that we learn concerning James will help us the better to understand Jesus.

They are alike in their poetical insight and their practical wisdom. They are both fond of figurative speech, and it seems always natural and unforced. The discourses of Jesus are filled with birds and flowers and winds and clouds and all the sights and sounds of rural life in Palestine. The writings of James abound in reference to the field flowers and the meadow grass and the salt fountains and the burning wind and the early and the latter rain. They are alike in mental attitude and in spiritual alertness. They have much in common in the material equipment of their thought. James was well versed in the apocryphal literature. May we not reasonably conclude that Jesus was just as familiar with these books as he? James seems to have acquired a comparative mastery of the Greek language and to have had some acquaintance with the Greek philosophy. Would not Jesus have been as well furnished in these lines as he?

What was the character of James? All tradition testifies to his personal purity and persistent devotion, commanding the reverence and the respect of all who knew him. As we trace the various elements of his character manifesting themselves in his anxieties and exhortations in this epistle, we find rising before us the image of Jesus as well as the portrait of James. He is a single-minded man, steadfast in faith and patient in trials. He is slow to wrath, but very quick to detect any sins of speech and hypocrisy of life. He is full of humility, but ready to champion the cause of the oppressed and the poor. He hates all insincerity and he loves wisdom, and he believes in prayer and practices it in reference to both temporal and spiritual good. He believes in absolute equality in the house of God. He is opposed to anything that will establish any distinctions between brethren in their place of worship. He believes in practical philanthropy. He believes that the right sort of religion will lead a man to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. A pure religion in his estimation will mean a pure man. He believes that we ought to practice all that we preach.

As we study these characteristics and opinions of the younger brother, does not the image of his and our Elder Brother grow ever clearer before our eyes?


Works on Introduction: by Zahn, Weiss, Julicher, Salmon, Dods, Bacon, Bennett and Adeney; MacClymont, The New Testament and Its Writers; Farrar, The Messages of the Books, and Early Days of Christianity; Fraser, Lectures on the Bible; Godet, Biblical Studies. Works on the Apostolic Age: McGiffert, Schaff, Hausrath, Weizsacker. Commentaries: Mayor, Hort, Beyschlag, Dale, Huther, Plummer, Plumptre, Stier.

Doremus Almy Hayes




ja’-min (yamin, "right hand"):

(1) In Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15; Nu 26:12; 1Ch 4:24, a "son" (clan) of Simeon.

(2) In 1Ch 2:27, a Judahite, "son" of Ram and grandson of Jerahmeel.

(3) In Ne 8:7, a Levite (?), one of those who "caused the people to understand" the Torah when Ezra enforced it =" Iadinus" in 1 Esdras 9:48.


ja’-min-its (ha-yamini, coll. with article): In Nu 26:12, descendants of Jamin ((1) above).


jam’-lek (yamlekh, "may he (God) cause to reign"): A "prince" or chief of the tribe of Simeon (1Ch 4:34). If 4:41 refers to the preceding list, he lived in the time of Hezekiah.





jam’-nits (Iamnitai): The inhabitants (2 Macc 12:9) of Jamnia, the ancient Jabneel, a town on the northern border of Judah near the sea. Its port and navy were burned by Judas Maccabeus (loc. cit.).


ja’-na-i, ja’-ni (ya‘nay, "he answers"; as to whether final "y" is the third radical (letter), or may be taken as equivalent to the Divine name Yah, see HPN, 149-51): A chief of a family descended from Gad (1Ch 5:12, the King James Version "Jaanai").


jan’-gling (mataiologia, "vain discourse" "babbling"): This word is not found in the American Standard Revised Version; once only in the King James Version (1Ti 1:6). The American Standard Revised Version has "vain talking," instead of "vain jangling," and evidently means proud, self-conceited talking against what God has revealed and against God Himself.


ja’-nim (yanim; the King James Version Janum): A place in the Hebron uplands named with Eshan and Beth-tappuah (Jos 15:53); unidentified.


jan’-a-i (Iannai, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek; Ianna, Textus Receptus of the New Testament; the King James Version Janna); An ancestor of Jesus in Luke’s genealogy, the 5th before Joseph, the husband of Mary (Lu 3:24).


jan’-ez, jam’-brez (Iannes kai Iambres, 2Ti 3:8):

1. Egyptian Magicians:

These are the names of two magicians in ancient Egypt, who withstood Moses before Pharaoh. This is the only place where the names occur in the New Testament, and they are not mentioned in the Old Testament at all. In Ex 7:11,22 Egyptian magicians are spoken of, who were called upon by Pharaoh to oppose Moses and Aaron: "Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers: and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did in like manner with their enchantments." Jannes and Jambres were evidently two of the persons referred to in this passage. It should be observed that the word translated here "magicians" occurs also in Ge 41:8 in connection with Pharaoh’s dreams: Pharaoh "sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof." the Revised Version margin reads for "magicians" "or sacred scribes." The Hebrew word is charTummim, and means sacred scribes who were skilled in the sacred writing, that is in the hieroglyphics; they were a variety of Egyptian priests. Jannes and Jambres were doubtless members of one or other of the various classes spoken of in the passages in Exodus and Genesis, the wise men, the sorcerers, and the magicians or sacred scribes.

2. Mentioned by Pliny and Others:

Jannes and Jambres, one or both, are also mentioned by Pliny (23-79 AD), by Apuleius (circa 130 AD), both of whom speak of Moses and Jannes as famous magicians of antiquity. The Pythagorean philosopher Numenius (2nd century AD) speaks of Jannes and Jambres as Egyptian hierogrammateis, or sacred scribes.

3. Traditions:

There are many curious Jewish traditions regarding Jannes and Jambres. These traditions, which are found in the Targum and elsewhere, are full of contradictions and impossibilities and anachronisms. They are to the effect that Jannes and Jambres were sons of Balaam, the soothsayer of Pethor. Notwithstanding this impossibility in the matter of date, they were said to have withstood Moses 40 years previously at the court of Pharaoh, to whom it was also said, they so interpreted a dream of that king, as to foretell the birth of Moses and cause the oppression of the Israelites. They are also said to have become proselytes, and it is added that they left Egypt at the Exodus, among the mixed multitude. They are reported to have instigated Aaron to make the golden calf. The traditions of their death are also given in a varying fashion. They were said to have been drowned in the Red Sea, or to have been put to death after the making of the golden calf, or during the slaughter connected with the name of Phinehas.

4. Origen’s Statement:

According to Origen (Comm. on Mt 27:8) there was an apocryphal book—not yet rediscovered—called "The Book of Jannes and Jambres." Origen’s statement is that in 2Ti 3:8 Paul is quoting from that book.

5. Derivation:

In the Targumic literature "Mambres" occurs as a variant reading instead of "Jambres." It is thought that Jambres is derived from an Aramaic root, meaning "to oppose," the participle of which would be Mambres. The meaning of either form is "he who opposes." Jannes is perhaps a corruption of Ioannes or Iohannes (John).

John Rutherfurd


An apocryphal work condemned by Pope Gelasius.

See preceding article, JANNES AND JAMBRES.


ja-no’-a (yanoach, "resting-place"):

(1) A place named on the eastern boundary of Ephraim (Jos 16:6 f; the King James Version "Janohah"). Eusebius, Onomasticon (s.v. "Jano") places it in Akrabattine, 12 Roman miles East of Neapolis (Nablus). This points definitely to Khirbet Yanun. On a hill near by, the Moslems show the Maqam of Neby Nun, the father of Joshua.

(2) A town in the uplands of Naphtali, mentioned as having been captured and depopulated by Tiglathpileser. It is named with Abel-beth-maacah and Kedesh (2Ki 15:29). It may be identical with Yanuch, a village about 6 miles East of Tyre.

W. Ewing


ja’-num (Qere, yanum, Kethibh yanim).



ja’-feth (yepheth; yapheth; Iapheth):

1. Etymologies of Japheth:

This name, in Ge 9:27, seems to be explained by the phrase "may God make wide (yapht, the American Standard Revised Version "enlarge") for Japheth," where yapht and Japheth are represented by the same consonants, but with different vowel-points. The root of yapht is pathach, "to make wide." This etymology, however, is not universally accepted, as the word-play is so obvious, and the association of Japheth with Shem ("dark") and Ham ("black") suggests a name on similar lines—either gentilic, or descriptive of race. Japheth has therefore been explained as meaning "fair," from yaphah, the non-Sem and non-Hamitic races known to the Jews being all more or less whiteskinned. The Targum of Onkelos agrees with the English Versions of the Bible, but that of Jonathan has "God shall beautify Japheth," as though from yaphah.

2. His Descendants:

The immediate descendants of Japheth were seven in number, and are represented by the nations designated Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Mesech, and Tiras; or, roughly, the Armenians, Lydians, Medes, Greeks, Tibarenians, and Moschians, the last, Tiras, remaining still obscure. The sons of Gomer (Ashkenaz, Riphath and Togarmah) were all settled in the West Asian tract; while the sons of Javan (Elisah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim or Rodanim) occupied the Mediterranean coast and the adjacent islands.

3. His Place among the Sons of Noah:

In Ge 9:27, as in other passages, Japheth occupies the 3rd place in the enumeration of the sons of Noah, but he is really regarded as the 2nd son, Ham being the youngest. In the genealogical table, however (Ge 10:1 ), the descendants of Japheth are given first, and those of Shem last, in order to set forth Semitic affinities at greater length. Though this would seem to indicate that the fair races were the least known to the Jews, it implies that the latter were well disposed toward them, for Japheth was (ultimately) to dwell in the tents of Shem, and therefore to take part in Shem’s spiritual privileges.

4. Japheth and Iapetos:

It seems unlikely that the Greek giant-hero, Iapetos, father of Prometheus, who was regarded by the Greeks as the father of the human race, has any connection with the Hebrew Japheth. The original of the Hebrew record probably belongs to a date too early to admit borrowing from the Greek, and if the name had been borrowed by the Greeks from the Hebrews, a nearer form might be expected.


T. G. Pinches


ja’-feth (Iapheth): A region mentioned only in Judith 2:25, where no particulars are given which may lead to its identification. Holofernes "came unto the borders of Japheth, which were toward the south, over against Arabia."


ja-fi’-a, jaf’-i-a (yaphia‘, perhaps "tall"; compare Arabic; Iephtha):

(1) King of Lachish, one of the 5 "kings of the Amorites" who allied themselves together in an expedition against Gibeon on account of its treaty with the Israelites (Jos 10:3-5). After their discomfiture by Joshua in the battle of Beth-horon (10:10), "one of the most important in the history of the world" (Stanley), they fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah (10:16). As Joshua passed, he was informed of this, but, unwilling to delay his pursuit of the fugitives, he ordered great stones to be rolled unto the mouth of the cave, leaving a guard in charge (10:17 f). On the completion of his victory, Joshua returned to Makkedah and commanded the Israelites to bring forth the imprisoned kings, and summoned the chiefs of his army to plant their feet upon their necks. Then he put them to death; and after he had hung their bodies on 5 trees, he ordered the Israelites in the evening to take them down and cast them into the cave (10:22-27).

(2) Septuagint Iephies, Iaphie): One of the sons of David who were born to him at Jerusalem (2Sa 5:15; 1Ch 3:7; 14:6).

James Crichton


ja-fi’-a, jaf’-i-a (yaphia‘): A town on the southern boundary of Zebulun named with Chisloth-tabor and Daberath (Jos 19:12). It is represented by the modern Yafa, about 1 1/2 miles Southwest of Nazareth, near the foot of the hills. It was one of the places fortified by Josephus (Vita, 45; BJ, II, xx, 6).


jaf’-let (yaphleT, "he escapes"(?)): In 1Ch 7:32,33, a "son" of Heber, an Asherite.


jaf’-le-ti, jaf-le’-ti: the King James Version in Jos 16:3, where Hebrew is ha-yaphleTi, "the Japhletites," the Revised Version (British and American), a clan said to border on the territory of Joseph, but not mentioned elsewhere.


ja’-fo: the King James Version and the American Revised Version margin in Jos 19:46 for JOPPA (which see).





ja’-ra (ya‘rah, "honey-comb" (?)): A descendant of King Saul (1Ch 9:42); but the Septuagint’s Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus, have Iada = ya‘dah, a name found in Septuagint of 1Ch 8:36, where Massoretic Text has yeho‘addah, Jehoaddah. Some Hebrew manuscripts have ya‘dah in 9:42, and it should probably be accepted as the correct reading there, for ya‘dah = Jehoaddah yeho‘addah, linguistically; compare Jonathan and Jehonathan, etc.


ja’-reb, jar’-eb (yarebh, "let him contend"; Septuagint Iareim):

1. Obscurity of the Name:

Is mentioned twice in Ho (5:13; 10:6) as an Assyrian king who received tribute from Israel. We do not, however, know of an Assyrian king of that name, or of such a place as is indicated by "the king of Jareb" (5:13 King James Version, margin). Sayce (HCM, 417) thinks Jareb may possibly be the earlier name of Sargon who took Samaria in 722 BC, as the passages in which it appears seem to relate to the last struggles of the Northern Kingdom. This conjecture he bases on the probability that the successor of Shalmaneser IV, following the example of other usurpers of the Assyrian throne before him, assumed the name of Sargon. Those who hold that Hosea’s prophecies are probably not later than 734 BC reject this view.

2. Meaning of the Word:

If we take the Hebrew text in Ho 5:13 as it stands (melekh yarebh), Jareb cannot be regarded as the name of a person, owing to the absence of the article before melekh, "king," which is always inserted in such a case. It is probably an epithet or nickname applied to the Assyrian king, as is suggested by the Revised Version margin ("a king that should contend") and the King James Version margin ("the king that should plead"), being derived from the ribh, "to strive." The rendering would then be "King Combat," "King Contentious," indicating Assyria’s general hostility to Israel and the futility of applying for help to that quarter against the will of Yahweh. Some suggest that for melekh yarebh we should read malki rabh (i being the old nominative termination), or melekh rabh, "Great King," a title frequently applied to Assyrian monarchs. Others, following the Septuagint, would read melekh ram, "High King."

3. Historical Reference:

The historical reference, if it be to any recorded incident, may be to the attempt of Menahem, king of Israel in 738 BC, to gain over the Assyrians by a large subsidy to Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:19). In this case, as both Epraim and Judah are mentioned in the protasis, we should have to suppose that Ephraim made application on behalf of both kingdoms. If "Judah" be inserted before "sent" to complete the parallel, then the clause would be interpreted of Ahaz, king of Judah, who offered a heavy bribe to Tiglath-pileser to help him to withstand the combined attack of Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel (2Ki 16:7 f). But perhaps there may be no particular allusions in the two clauses of the apodosis, but only a reference to a general tendency on the part of both kingdoms to seek Assyrian aid.

4. Other Views:

Cheyne would make a violent change in the verse. He would substitute "Israel" for "Judah" as warranted by Ho 12:2, insert "Israel" before "sent," change ‘Ashshur,"assyria," into mitstsur, the North Arabian land of Mucri, "references to which underlie many passages in the Old Testament," and for melekh yarebh, he would read melekh ‘arabhi, "king of Arabia." For other views see ICC.

James Crichton


ja’-red (yeredh, "descent"; pausal form, yaredh, in Ge 5:15; 1Ch 1:2, hence, English Versions of the Bible "Jared" for "Jered"; Iared): In Ge 5:15-20; 1Ch 1:2; Lu 3:37, son of Mahalaleel and father of Enoch. The King James Version has "Jered" in 1Ch 1:2.

The name is supposed by Budde to denote a degeneration of the human race, the first five generations being righteous, their successors not, except Enoch and Noah. The name has been identified with that of Irad (iradh), Ge 4:18. See Skinner, Gen, 117, 129, 131.


jar-e-si’-a: the King James Version for JAARESHIAH (which see).


jar’-ha (yarcha‘, meaning unknown): An Egyptian slave of Shesham, about Eli’s time (compare HPN, 235), who married his master’s daughter, and became the founder of a house of the Jerahmeelites (1Ch 2:34 ).


ja’-rib, jar’-ib (yaribh, "he contends," or "takes (our) part," or "conducts (our) case"):

(1) In 1Ch 4:24, a "son" (clan) of Simeon =" Jachin" of Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15; Nu 26:12.

(2)in Ezr 8:16, one of the "chief men" for whom Ezra sent, and dispatched by him to Casiphia to fetch ministers for God’s house =" Joribus" (1 Esdras 8:44).

(3) In Ezr 10:18, a priest who had married a foreign wife =" Joribus" (1 Esdras 9:19).


jar’-i-moth (Iarimoth): 1 Esdras 9:28; called "Jeremoth" in Ezr 10:27.


jar’-muth (yarmuth:

(1) A city of the Canaanites in the Shephelah (Jos 15:35) of Judah whose "king," Piram, joined the league of the "five kings" against Joshua (Jos 10:3-5), was defeated at Gibeon and slain at Makkedah (10:23). One of the 31 "kings" defeated in Joshua’ s campaign (Jos 12:11). In Jos 15:35 it is mentioned in conjunction with Adullam, Socoh and Azekah, and in Ne 11:29 with Zorah, Zanoah and Adullam. Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica) suggests that the "Maroth" of Mic 1:12 may be a copyist’s error for Jarmuth. In Eusebius, Onomasticon (OS2 132 31; 266 38) mention is made of a Iermochos, or Jermucha, 10 Roman miles Northeast of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), The site of this once important place is Khirbet el Yarmuk, a ruin, with many old walls and cisterns, on the top of a hill 1,465 ft. above sealevel. It is nearly 2 miles Northwest of Belt Nattif, from which it is visible, and 8 1/2 miles, as measured on map, N.N.E. of Belt Jibrin. Compare PEF, III, 128, Sh XVIII.

(2) A city of Issachar belonging to the "children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites" (Jos 21:29); in the duplicate list in 1Ch 6:73 we have Ramoth, while in the Septuagint version of Jos 21:29 we have, in different VSS, Rhemmath or Iermoth. In Jos 19:21 "Remeth" occurs (in Hebrew) in the lists of cities of Issachar; in the Septuagint Rhemmas or Rhamath. The name was probably "Remeth" or "Ramoth," but the place has never been identified with any certainty.


E. W. G. Masterman


ja-ro’-a (yaroach, meaning unknown): A Gadite chief (1Ch 5:14). But the text is doubtful; see Curtis, Chronicles, 124.


jas-a-e’-lus , ja’-sa-el (Iasaelos; Codex Vaticanus, Asaelos; the King James Version (1 Esdras 9:30)): Called "Sheal" in Ezr 10:29.


ja’-shar, jash’-ar (cepher ha-yashar; the King James Version Book of Jasher, margin "the book of the upright"): The title of an ancient Hebrew national song-book (literally, "book of the righteous one") from which two quotations are made in the Old Testament:

(1) Jos 10:12-14, the command of Joshua to the sun and moon, "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon. .... Is not this written in the book of Jashar?" (see BETH-HORON; Septuagint in this place omits the reference to Jashar); and

(2) 2Sa 1:8 ff, "the song of the bow," or lament of David over Saul and Jonathan.

(3) Some conjecture a third extract in 1Ki 8:12, "Then spake Solomon, Yahweh hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness." The words of Yahweh are quoted by Septuagint in 8:53 as "written in the book of the song" (en biblio tes odes), and it is pointed out that the words "the song" (in Hebrew ha-shir) might easily be a corruption of ha-yashar. A similar confusion ("song" for "righteous") may explain the fact that the Peshitta Syriac of Joshua has for a title "the book of praises or hymns." The book evidently was a well-known one, and may have been a gradual collection of religious and national songs. It is conjectured that it may have included the So of Deborah (Jud 5), and older pieces now found in the Pentateuch (e.g. Ge 4:23,14; 9:25-27; 27:27-29); this, however, is uncertain. On the curious theories and speculations of the rabbis and others about the book (that it was the Book of the Law, of Genesis, etc.), with the fantastic reconstructive theory of Dr. Donaldson in his Jasbar, see the full article in HDB.

James Orr


ja’-shen, jash’-en (yashen, "asleep"(?)): Seemingly the father of some of David s thirty valiant men (2Sa 23:32 f). The Massoretic Text reads "Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, .... " 1Ch 11:33 f has Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shagee the Hararite .... " It is clear that "sons of" are a dittography of the last three consonants of the previous word. Septuagint, Lucian in 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles has ho Gouni, "the Gunite," for "the Gizonite," perhaps correctly (compare Ge 46:24; Nu 26:48 for "Guni," "Gunite"). So 2Sa 23:32 may be corrected thus: "Eliahba the Shaalbonite, Jashen the Gunite, Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite." Jashen then becomes one of the thirty =" Hashem" of 1Ch 11:34.

David Francis Roberts


ja’-sher, jash’-er: the King James Version for JASHAR (which see), and see BETH-HORON, THE BATTLE OF.


ja-sho’-be-am (yashobh‘am, probably "people will return"; see discussion of names compounded with ‘am, in HPN, 41-59): Jashobeam is mentioned in three passages (1Ch 11:11; 12:6 (Hebrew 7); 27:2 f), but opinions vary as to the number of persons erred to. In 1Ch 11:11 he is called "the son of a Hachmonite" (reference unknown) and "the chief of the three" ("three," the best reading; the Revised Version (British and American) "thirty"; the King James Version, the Revised Version margin "captains"), mighty men of David. He is said to have slain 300 (800 in 2Sa 23:8) at one time, i.e. one after another.

The gibborim, or heroes, numbered 600 and were divided into bands of 200 each and subdivided into smaller bands of 20 each, with a captain for each company large and small. Jashobeam had command of the first of the three bands of 200 (see Ewald, HI, III , 140 f; Stanley, HJC, II, 78). From the indefiniteness of the description, "three of the thirty chief," he can hardly be regarded as one of the three mighty men who broke through the ranks of the Philistines, and brought water from the well of Bethlehem to David on the hill-fortress of Adullam (1Ch 11:15-17), and the fact that "the thirty" have not yet been mentioned would seem to indicate that this story is not in its proper place. But "Jashobe am" here (1Ch 11:11) is probably an error for "Ishbaal," the reading of many of the manuscripts of the Septuagint (HPN, 46, note).

In the parallel passage (2Sa 23:8) he is called "Joshebbasshebeth, a Tahchemonite." This verse, however, is probably corrupt (Revised Version margin), and the text should be corrected in accordance with Ch to "Ishbaal, the Hachmonite." In 1Ch 27:2 f Jashobeam is said to have been "the son of Zabdiel," of the family of Perez, and the commander-in-chief of the division of David’s army which did duty the first month. The army consisted of 12 divisions of 24,000 each, each division serving a month in turn. In 1Ch 12:6 (Hebrew 7) Jashobeam is mentioned among those who joined David at Ziklag in the time of Saul, and is described as a Korahite, probably one belonging to a family of Judah (compare 2:43).

James Crichton


ja’-shub, jash’-ub (yashubh; yashibh, in Chronicles, but Qere, yashubh, "he returns"):

(1) In Nu 26:24; 1Ch 7:1, a "son" (clan) of Issachar. Ge 46:13 has incorrectly Iob, but Septuagint Jashub.

(2) In Ezr 10:29, one of those who had married foreign wives =" Jasubus" in 1 Esdras 9:30.

(3) In Isa 7:3, part of the name SHEAR-JASHUB (which see).


ja-shoo-bi-le’-hem (yashubhi-lechem): A name in 1Ch 4:22 where commentators insert beth, between the two words and translate "(and) returned to Bethlehem."


ja’-shub-its, jash’-ub-its (ha-yashubhi, coll. with article): In Nu 16:24, descendants of JASHUB (q.v. (1)).


ja’-si-el, jas’-i-el (ya‘asi’el, "God is maker," 1Ch 11:47 the King James Version).



ja’-sun (Iason): A common name among the Hellenizing Jews who used it for Jesus or Joshua, probably connecting it with the Greek verb iashthai ("to heal").

(1) Son of Eleazar, sent (161 BC) by Judas Maccabeus with other deputies to Rome "to make a league of amity and confederacy" (1 Macc 8:17; Josephus, Ant, XII, x, 6), and perhaps to be identified with (2).

(2) The father of Antipater who went as ambassador of Jonathan to Rome in 144 BC (1 Macc 12:16; 14:22; Ant, XIII, v, 8).

(3) Jason of Cyrene, a Jewish historian, who is known only from what is told of him in 2 Macc 2:19-23. 2 Macc is in fact simply an abridgment in one book of the 5 books written by Jason on the Jewish wars of liberation. He must have written after 162 BC, as his books include the wars under Antiochus Eupator.

(4) Jason the high priest, second son of Simon II and brother of Onias III. The change of name from Jesus (Josephus, Ant, XII, v) was part of the Hellenizing policy favored by Antiochus Epiphanes from whom he purchased the high-priesthood by a large bribe, thus excluding his elder brother from the office (2 Macc 4:7-26). He did everything in his power to introduce Greek customs and Greek life among the Jews. He established a gymnasium in Jerusalem, so that even the priests neglected the altars and the sacrifices, and hastened to be partakers of the "unlawful allowance" in the palaestra. The writer of 2 Macc calls him "that ungodly wretch" and "vile" Jason. He even sent deputies from Jerusalem to Tyre to take part in the worship of Hercules; but what he sent for sacrifices, the deputies expended on the "equipment of galleys." After 3 years of this Hellenizing work he was supplanted in 172 BC in the favor of Antiochus by Menelaus who gave a large bribe for the high priest’s office. Jason took refuge with the Ammonites; on hearing that Antiochus was dead he tried with some success to drive out Menelaus, but ultimately failed (2 Macc 5:5 ff). He took refuge with the Ammonites again, and then with Aretas, the Arabian, and finally with the Lacedaemonians, where he hoped for protection "as being connected by race," and there "perished-miserably in a strange land."

(5) A name mentioned in Ac 17:5-9 and in Ro 16:21. See following article.

J. Hutchison


ja’-sun (Iason): A Greek name assumed by Jews who bore the Hebrew name Joshua. This name is mentioned twice in the New Testament. (See also preceding article.)

(1) Jason was the host of Paul during his stay in Thessalonica, and, during the uproar organized by the Jews, who were moved to jealousy by the success of Paul and Silas, he and several other "brethren" were severely handled by the mob. When the mob failed to find Paul and Silas, they dragged Jason and "certain brethren" before the politarchs, accusing Jason of treason in receiving into his house those who said "There is another king, one Jesus." The magistrates, being troubled, took security from them, and let them go.

There are various explanations of the purpose of this security. "By this expression it is most probably meant that a sum of money was deposited with the magistrates, and that the Christian community of the place made themselves responsible that no attempt should be made against the supremacy of Rome, and that peace should be maintained in Thessalonica itself" (Conybeare and Howson, Paul). Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler) thinks that the security was given to prevent Paul from returning to Thessalonica and that Paul refers to this in 1Th 2:18.

The immediate departure of Paul and Silas seems to show the security was given that the strangers would leave the city and remain absent (Ac 17:5-9).

(2) Jason is one of the companions of Paul who unite with him in sending greetings to the Roman Christians (Ro 16:21). He is probably the same person as (1). Paul calls him a kinsman, which means a Jew (compare Ro 9:3; 16:11,21).

S. F. Hunter


jas’-per, jas’-pis.



ja-su’-bus (Iasoubos): An Israelite who in the time of Ezra had to put away his foreign wife (1 Esdras 9:30); called "Jashub" in Ezr 10:29.


ja’-tal (1 Esdras 5:28).



ja’-than (Iathan; Nathan): For "Jonathas" in the King James Version, which is the Latin form for the Hebrew "Jonathan." Jonathan was brother of Ananias and "son of that great Sammaias" (Tobit 5:13).





jath’-ni-el (yathni’el, "God lives"): Fourth "son" of Meshelemiah, a Korahite (1Ch 26:2).


jat’-er (yattir, and yattir): A town in the hill country of Judah, mentioned in conjunction with Shamir and Socoh (Jos 15:48); one of the cities given to the "children of Aaron the priest" (Jos 21:14; 1Ch 6:57). David after his victory over the Amalekites sent a present of the spoil from Ziklag "to them that were in Jattir" (1Sa 30:27).

It is now Khirbet ‘Attir, an important ruin, in the extreme South of the hill country, 5 miles Southeast of edh Dhariyeh and 20 miles Southeast of Belt Jibrin. This must Correspond to the "very large village Jethira" which is mentioned in Eusebius, Onomasticon (119 27; 133 3; 134 24, etc.) as 20 miles Southeast of Eleutheropolis (i.e. Beit Jibrin). The site is full of caves. See PEF, III, 408, Sh XXV.

E. W. G. Masterman


ja’-van (yawan, meaning unknown):

(1) In Ge 10:2,4 = 1Ch 1:5,7 Septuagint Iouan); Isa 66:19; Eze 27:13 Septuagint Hellas, Greece); Da 8:21 m; 10:20; 11:2; Zec 9:13; Joe 3:6 (Hebrew 4:6) Septuagint hoi Hellenes, i.e. "Greeks"), "son" of Japheth, and "father" of Elisha, Tars, Kittim, and Rodarim, i.e. Rhodes (incorrectly "Dodanim" in Ge 10:4). Javan is the Greek Iaon or Ia(v)on, and in Ge and 1Ch = the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, probably here = Cyprus. The reference in Eze 27:13 (from which that in Isa 66:19 is copied) is the country personified. In Joe the plural yewanim, is found. In Da the name is extended to the Greeks generally. Corroboration of the name is found in Assyrian (Schrader, editor, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, II, 43). "The Persian Yauna occurs in the same double reference from the time of Darius; compare Aesch. Persian., 176, 562" (Skinner, Gen, 198). In Egyptian the word is said to be yevan-(n)a; in the Tell el-Amarna Letters Yivana is mentioned as being in the land of Tyre. See HDB, II, 552b.

(2) Place (Eze 27:19); the name is missing in Septuagint.

David Francis Roberts


jav’-lin, jav’-e-lin.



jo, jo’-bon (lechi, "cheek (bone)," "jaw (bone)"): In Job 41:2, the Revised Version (British and American) gives "pierce his jaw through with a hook" for the King James Version "bore his jaw through with a thorn" (see HOOK; LEVIATHAN). Ps 22:15, "My tongue cleaveth to my jaws (malqoach)," is descriptive of the effect of a fever or physical torture, a dryness and a horrible clamminess. Malqochayim is an ancient dual form meaning the two jaws, and, metaphorically, malqoach indicates that which is caught between the jaws, booty, prey, including captives (Nu 31:11,26,32; Isa 49:24 f).


(1) Of the power of the wicked, with a reference to Divine restraint and discipline: "I brake the jaws (Hebrew "great teeth") of the unrighteous" (Job 29:17; Pr 30:14); compare Ps 58:6, "Break out the great teeth (malta‘oth, "jaw teeth") of the young lions, O Yahweh." Let the wicked be deprived of their ability for evil; let them at least be disabled from mischief. Septuagint reads "God shall break," etc. (Compare Edmund Prys’s Metrical Paraphrase of the Psalms, in the place cited.) "A bridle .... in the jaws of the peoples" (Isa 30:28; compare 2Ki 19:28) is descriptive of the ultimate check of the Assyrian power at Jerusalem, "as when a bridle or lasso is thrown upon the jaws of a wild animal when you wish to catch and tame him" (G.A. Smith Isa, I, 235). Compare Eze 29:4 (concerning Pharaoh); 38:4 (concerning Gog), "I will put hooks in (into) thy jaws."

(2) Of human labor and trials, with a reference to the Divine gentleness: "I was to them as they that lift up the yoke on their jaws" (Ho 11:4), or ‘take the yoke off their jaws,’ as the humane driver eased the yoke with his hands or ‘lifted it forward from neck to the jaws’; or it may perhaps refer to the removal of the yoke in the evening, when work is over.

Jawbone (Jud 15:15 ).


M. O. Evans


ja’-zer (ya‘zer or ya‘zeyr; Septuagint Iazen in Codex Alexandrinus; Iazer): In some cases, e.g. Nu 21:32, the King James Version reads "Jaazer." This was a city of the Amorites East of the Jordan taken, along with its towns, by Moses, and occupied by the tribe of Gad (Nu 21:32; 32:35). The country was very fertile, and its spacious pasture-lands attracted the flock-masters of Gad (Nu 32:1), the southern border of whose territory it marked (Jos 13:25). It was assigned to the Merarite Levites (Jos 21:39; 1Ch 6:81). The place was reached by Joab when taking the census (2Sa 24:5). In the 40th year of King David mighty men of valor were found here to whom he entrusted the oversight in Reuben and Gad "for every matter pertaining to God, and run the affairs of the king" (1Ch 26:32 f). The fruitfulness of the country is alluded to in Isa 16:8 f; Jer 48:32. (Note: "Sea of" Jazer in this verse has arisen through accidental repetition of yam, "sea," from the preceding clause.) The city was taken from the Ammonites by Judas Maccabeus, and burned (1 Macc 5:7,8; Ant, XII, viii, 1).

Onomasticon places Jazer 10 Roman miles West of Philadelphia (‘Amman), and about 15 miles from Heshbon, where a great stream rises, which flows into the Jordan. Many would identify it with Khirbet Car, on the South of Wady Cir, about 5 miles West of ‘Amman. The perennial stream from Wady Cir reaches the Jordan by Wady el-Kefrein. Cheyne (EB, under the word) suggests Yajuz on Wady Zorby, tributary of the Jabbok, with extensive Roman remains. It lies a little way to the East of el Jubeihat ("Jogbehah," Nu 32:35). It is situated, however, to the North and not to the West of ‘Amman, where Eusebius, Onomasticon, places it. Neither identification is certain.

W. Ewing


ja’-ziz (yaziz, meaning uncertain): The Hagrite who was over David’s flocks (1Ch 27:30 (Hebrew 31)).


jel’-us-i (qin’ah; zelos): Doubtless, the root idea of both the Greek and the Hob translated "jealousy" is "warmth," "heat." Both are used in a good and a bad sense—to represent right and wrong passion.

When jealousy is attributed to God, the word is used in a good sense. The language is, of course, anthropomorphic; and it is based upon the feeling in a husband of exclusive right in his wife. God is conceived as having wedded Israel to Himself, and as claiming, therefore, exclusive devotion. Disloyalty on the part of Israel is represented as adultery, and as provoking God to jealousy. See, e.g., De 32:16,21; 1Ki 14:22; Ps 78:58; Eze 8:3; 16:38,42; 23:25; 36:5; 38:19.

When jealousy is attributed to men, the sense is sometimes good, and sometimes bad. In the good sense, it refers to an ardent concern for God’s honor. See, e.g., Nu 25:11 (compare 1Ki 19:10; 2Ki 10:16); 2Co 11:2 (compare Ro 10:2). In the bad sense it is found in Ac 7:9; Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Jas 3:14,16.

The "law of jealousy" is given in Nu 5:11-31. It provided that, when a man suspected his wife of conjugal infidelity, an offering should be brought to the priest, and the question of her guilt or innocence should be subjected to a test there carefully prescribed. The test was intended to be an appeal to God to decide the question at issue.


E. J. Forrester




See ADULTERY, (2).


je’-a-rim, je-a’-rim (har-ye‘arim): A mountain by the side of which passed the border of Judah (Jos 15:10). It is mentioned here only, and is identical with CHESALON (which see).


je-ath’-e-ri, jeat’-e-ri (Revised Version (British and American)), (the King James Version) (ye’atheray, meaning unknown): A descendant of Gershom, "son" of Levi (1Ch 6:21 (Hebrew 6)), and probably an ancestor of Asaph (so commentators); in 6:39-43 the corresponding name is "Ei." The difference in the Hebrew words is not great.


je-ber-e-ki’-a (yebherekhyahu, "Yah blesses"): The father of the Zechariah whom Isaiah (8:2) took as a witness of his prophecy against Syria and Ephraim (circa 734 BC).


je’-bus (yebhuc; Iebous): In Jud 19:10,11, "Jebus (the same is Jerusalem)"; 1Ch 11:4,5, "Jerusalem (the same is Jebus)." It was once thought that this was the first name of Jerusalem, as indeed might be suggested by the Biblical references, but it is now known from the Tell el-Amarna Letters that Urusa-lem was a name used centuries before the time of David (see JERUSALEM, I). It would appear probable that the name "Jebus" was evolved by the Hebrews as an alternate name, and possibly they may have imagined an earlier name, for Jerusalem from JEBUSITE (which see), the name of the local tribe who owned the district in the first centuries of Israel’s occupation of Canaan.

E. W. G. Masterman


je’-bus, jeb’-u-si, jeb’-u-zit (yebhuc, ha-yebhuci): "Jebus" is an old name for Jerusalem (Jud 19:10,11; 1Ch 4:5 parallel 2Sa 5:6-9, "the same is Jerus"; see preceding article). "Jebusi" (literally, "Jebusite") is also used as a name for the city in the King James Version (Jos 18:16,28; compare Jos 15:8); the Revised Version (British and American) correctly renders "Jebusite" (see JERUSALEM). "Jebusites," for the people (in the King James Version Ge 15:21; Ex 3:8,17, etc.), does not occur in Hebrew in the plural; hence, in the Revised Version (British and American) is always rendered in the singular, "Jebusite." The "Jebusite" is said in Ge 10:16; 1Ch 1:14 to be the 3rd son of Canaan, i.e. of the country of Canaan. Elsewhere he represents a tribe separate from the Canaanites. He stands between Heth and the Amorite (compare Nu 13:29; Jos 11:3; Eze 16:3,15). In the lists of the peoples inhabiting Palestine the "Jebusite" is always placed last, a fact indicative, probably, of their smaller number.

To what race the Jebusites belonged is doubtful. Their name does not seem Semitic, and they do not make their appearance till after the patriarchal period.

The original name of Jerusalem was Babylonian, Uru-Salim, "the city of Salim," shortened into Salem in Ge 14:18 and in the inscriptions of the Egyptian kings Ramses II and Ramses III. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters (1400 BC) Jerusalem is still known as Uru-Salim, and its king bears a Hittite name, implying that it was at the time in the possession of the Hittites. His enemies, however, were closing around him, and one of the tablets shows that the city was eventually captured and its king slain. These enemies would seem to have been the Jebusites, since it is after this period that the name "Jebus" makes its appearance for the first time in the Old Testament (Jud 19:10,11).

The Jebusite king at the time of the conquest was Adoni-zedek, who met his death at Beth-boron (Jos 10:1 ; in Jos 10:5 the word "Amorite" is used in its Babylonian sense to denote the inhabitants of Canaan generally). The Jebusites were a mountain tribe (Nu 13:29; Jos 11:3). Their capital "Jebus" was taken by the men of Judah and burned with fire (Jud 18), but they regained possession of, and held, the fortress till the time of David (2Sa 5:6 ).

When Jerusalem was taken by David, the lives and property of its Jebusite inhabitants were spared, and they continued to inhabit the temple-hill, David and his followers settling in the new City of David on Mt. Zion (Jos 15:8,63; Jud 1:21; 19:11). And as Araunah is called "king" (2Sa 24:23), we may conclude that their last ruler also had been lowed to live. His name is non-Sem, and the various spellings of it (compare 1Ch 21:15, "Ornan") indicate that the Hebrew writers had some difficulty in pronouncing it. The Jebusites seem ultimately to have blended with the Israelite population.

James Orr


jek-a-mi’-a: the King James Version for JEKAMIAH (which see).


jek-i-li’-a (yekhilyah). See JECHOLIAH; Kethibh and 2Ch 26:3 the Revised Version (British and American), where Qere is yekholyah =" Jecoliah" (the King James Version).


jek-o-li’-a (yekholyahu; 2Ki 15:2 the King James Version = yekholyah, Qere in 2Ch 26:3, "Yah is able" or "Yah has been able"): The mother of King Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah. The Revised Version (British and American) has "Jecoliah" in 2Ki and so the King James Version in 2 Ch.


jek-o-ni’-as (Iechonias, the King James Version; Greek form of "Jechoniah," the Revised Version (British and American)):

(1) The altered form of Jehoiachin (Additions to Esther 11:4; Baruch 1:3,9; Mt 1:11,12). The last but one of the kings of Judah.

(2) The son of Zeelus (1 Esdras 8:92), called "Shecaniah" in Ezr 10:2.


jek-o-li’-a: 2Ki 15:2; 2Ch 26:3 the King James Version; see JECHILIAH; JECHOLIAH.





jek-o-ni-as (Iechonias):

(1) One of the chiliarchs who made great gifts of sheep and calves at the Passover of Josiah (1 Esdras 1:9); called "Conaniah" in 2Ch 35:9.

(2) One reading makes Jeconias (not Joachaz) son of Josiah in 1 Esdras 1:34 margin.


je-da’-ya, je-di’-a:

(1) (yedha‘yah, "Yah knows"):

(a) A priest in Jerusalem (1Ch 9:10; 24:7).

(b) Ezr 2:36 = Ne 7:39, where "children of Jedaiah" are mentioned =" Jeddu" in 1 Esdras 5:24.

(c) Jedaiah is among "the priests and the Levites" that returned with Zerubbabel (Ne 11:10; 12:6,19).

(d) Another priest of the same name (Ne 12:7,21).

(e) One of the exiles whom Zechariah was commanded to send with silver and gold to Jerusalem. Septuagint does not take the word as a proper name (Zec 6:10,14)

(2) (yedhayah, "Yah throws" (?)):

(a) Father of a Simeonite prince (1Ch 4:37).

(b) One of the repairers of the wall of Jerusalem (Ne 3:10).

David Francis Roberts


jed’-oo (Ieddou): Called JEDAIAH (which see 1, (b)) in canonical books (1 Esdras 5:24).


je-de’-us (Iedaios): Called ADAIAH (which see) in Ezr 10:29 (1 Esdras 9:30).


je-di’-a-el (yedhi‘a’-el, "God makes known" (?)):

(1) A "son" of Benjamin or probably of Zebulun (1Ch 7:6,10,11). See Curtis, Chronicles, 145-49, who suggests emending the name to yachle’el, Jahleel, in agreement with Ge 46:24.

(2) One of David’s mighty men (1Ch 11:45), probably = the Manassite who deserted to David at Ziklag (1Ch 12:20 (Hebrew 21)).

(3) A Korahite doorkeeper in David’s reign (1Ch 26:2).


je-di’-da (yedhidhah, "beloved"): Mother of King Josiah of Judah, daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath (2Ki 22:1).


jed-i-di’-a (yedhidh-yah, "the beloved of Yah"): The name conferred by God through Nathan upon Solomon at his birth (2Sa 12:25).





je-e’-li (Ieieli: Called "Jaalah" in Ezr 2:56 and "Jaala" in Ne 7:58 (1 Esdras 5:33).


je-e’-lus (Ieelos): Called "Jehiel" in Ezr 10:2 (1 Esdras 8:92).


je-e’-zer (the King James Version) (’i‘ezer; the Revised Version (British and American) IEZER): The name of a elan of Gilead (Nu 26:30), but read la-’abhi‘ezer, i.e. "of Abiezer" (compare Jos 17:2).






je-gar-sa-ha-du’-tha (yeghar sahadhutha’; Septuagint Bounos marturei, "(the) mound witnesses"): The name given by the Aramean, Laban, to the "cairn of witness," called by Jacob GALEED (which see) (Ge 31:47). The rest of the second part of this name appears again in Job 16:19, where sahadhi, should be rendered with the Revised Version (British and American), "he that voucheth for me," i.e. "my witness."


je-hal’-e-lel (Revised Version (British and American)), je-ha-le’-le-el (the King James Version) (yehallel’el, "he shall praise God"):

(1) A Judahite (1Ch 4:16).

(2) A Levite, a descendant of Merari (2Ch 29:12).


je-de’-ya, ja’-de-ya (yechdeyahu, "may Yahweh give joy!"):

(1) A Levite, head of the family of Shubael (1Ch 24:20).

(2) An officer of David "over the asses" (1Ch 27:30).


je-hez’-kel (Revised Version (British and American)), je-hez’-e-kel (the King James Version) (yechezqe’l "God strengthens"):

(1) A priest of David’s time (1Ch 24:16).

(2) Jehezkel in Eze 1:3 King James Version margin, for EZEKIEL (which see).


je-hi’-a (yechiyah, "may Yahweh live!"): Keeper of the ark with Obed-edom (1Ch 15:24), but in verse 18 the name is ye‘i’el, JEIEL (which see)


je-hi’-el, je-hi’-e-li (yechi’el, "may God live!"):

(1) A Levite, one of the musicians appointed to play upon instruments at the bringing up of the ark by David (1Ch 15:18,20; 16:5); (yechi’eli): A patronymic of this name (1Ch 26:21,22), but Curtis (Chronicles, 286-87) reads "Jehiel (1Ch 26:21) and he is brethren Zetham and Joel" (1Ch 26:22); compare 1Ch 23:8, where the three seem to be brothers. See (2) above.

(2) A Gershonite, head of a Levitical house (1Ch 23:8; 29:8).

(3) Son of a Hachmonite; he was "with the king’s (David’s) sons," i.e. their tutor (1Ch 27:32).

(4) A son of King Jehoshaphat (2Ch 21:2).

(5) In 2Ch 29:14 the King James Version, where Qere is yechu’el, the Revised Version (British and American) "Jehuel," a Hermanite Levite who took part in cleansing the temple in Hezekiah’s reign.

(6) An overseer in Hezekiah’s reign (2Ch 31:13).

(7) One of the three "rulers" of the temple in Hezekiah’s reign (2Ch 35:8).

(8) Father of Obadiah, a returned exile (Ezr 8:9) =" Jezelus" of 1 Esdras 8:35.

(9) Father of Shecaniah (Ezr 10:2) =" Jeelus" of 1 Esdras 8:92. He was a "son" of Elam, and so probably the same as "Jehiel" in Ezr 10:26, one of those who had married foreign wives =" Jezrielus" of 1 Esdras 9:27.

(10) A "son" of Harim, and one of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:21) =" Hiereel" of 1 Esdras 9:21.

(11) The King James Version in 1Ch 9:35 = JEIEL (q.v. (2)).

(12) The King James Version in 1Ch 11:44 = JEIEL (q.v. (3)).

David Francis Roberts


je-hiz-ki’-a (yechizqiyahu, "Yah strengthens"): One of the Ephraimite chiefs (2Ch 28:12) who with Obed are said to have opposed the enslavement of the Judahites taken captive by Pekah in his war against Ahaz (circa 734 BC).


je-ho-ad’-a (Revised Version (British and American)), je-ho’-a-da (the King James Version) (yeho‘addah, "Yah has deposed" or "numbered"): A descendant of King Saul (1Ch 8:36), called "Jarah" in 1Ch 9:42, where the Septuagint has Iada = ya‘dah.



je-ho-ad’-an (yeho‘addan, meaning unknown): In 2Ch 25:1; and Qere, the King James Version in 2Ki 14:2, where Kethibh and the Revised Version (British and American) are "Jehoaddin" (yeho‘addin), the mother of King Amaziah of Judah.





je-ho’-a-haz, je-ho-a’-haz (yeho’achaz, "Yah has grasped"; Ioachas; 2Ki 13:1-9):

(1) Son of Jehu, and 11th king of Israel. He is stated to have reigned 17 years.

1. Chronology of Reign:

Josephus was already aware (Ant., IX, viii, 5) of the chronological difficulty involved in the cross-references in 2Ki 13:1 and 10, the former of which states that Jehoahaz began to reign in the 23rd year of Jehoash of Jerusalem, and reigned 17 years; while the latter gives him a successor in Jehoash’s 37th year, or 14 years later. Josephus alters the figure of 13:1 to 21; and, to meet the same difficulty, the Septuagint (Aldine edition) changes 37 to 39 in 13:10. The difficulty may be met by supposing that Jehoahaz was associated with his father Jehu for several years in the government of the country before the death of the latter, and that these years were counted as a part of his reign. This view has in its favor the fact that Jehu was an old man when he died, and may have been incapacitated for the full discharge of administrative duties before the end came. The accession of Jehoahaz as sole ruler may be dated about 825 BC.

2. Low Condition of the Kingdom:

When Jehoahaz came to the throne, he found a discouraged and humiliated people. The territory beyond Jordan, embracing 2 1/2 tribes, or one-fourth of the whole kingdom, had been lost in warfare with the Syrian king, Hazael (2Ki 10:32,33). A heavy annual subsidy was still payable to Assyria, as by his father Jehu. The neighboring kingdom of Judah was still unfriendly to any member of the house of Jehu. Elisha the prophet, though then in the zenith of his influence, does not seem to have done anything toward the stability of Jehu’s throne.

3. Israel and Syria:

Specially did Israel suffer during this reign from the continuance of the hostility of Damascus (2Ki 13:3,4,22). Hazael had been selected, together with Jehu, as the instrument by which the idolatry of Israel was to be punished (1Ki 19:16). Later the instruments of vengeance fell out. On Jehu’s death, the pressure from the east on Hazael was greatly relieved. The great conqueror, Shalmaneser II, had died, and his son Samsi-Ramman IV had to meet a revolt within the empire, and was busy with expeditions against Babylon and Media during the 12 years of his reign (824-812 BC). During these years, the kingdoms of the seaboard of the Mediterranean were unmolested. They coincide with the years of Jehoahaz, and explain the freedom which Hazael had to harass the dominions of that king.

4. The Elisha Episodes:

Particulars of the several campaigns in which the troops of Damascus harassed Israel are not given. The life of Elisha extended through the 3 reigns of Jehoram (12 years), Jehu (28 years) and Jehoahaz (12 or 13 years), into the reign of Joash (2Ki 13:1). It is therefore probable that in the memorabilia of his life in 2Ki 4-8, now one and now another king of Israel should figure, and that some of the episodes there recorded belong to the reign of Jehoahaz. There are evidences that strict chronological order is not observed in the narrative of Elisha, e.g. Gehazi appears in waiting on the king of Israel in 8:5, after the account of his leprosy in 5:27. The terrible siege of Samaria in 2Ki 7 is generally referred to the reign of Jehoram; but no atmosphere is so suitable to it as that of the reign of Jehoahaz, in one of the later years of whom it may have occurred. The statement in 13:7 that "the king of Syria destroyed them, and made them like the dust in threshing," and the statistics there given of the depleted army of Jehoahaz, would correspond with the state of things that siege implies. In this case the Ben-hadad of 2Ki 6:24 would be the son of Hazael (13:3).

5. His Idolatry:

Jehoahaz, like his father, maintained the calf-worship in Bethel and Dan, and revived also the cult of the Asherah, a form of Canaanitish idolatry introduced by Ahab (1Ki 16:33). It centered round a sacred tree or pole, and was probably connected with phallic worship (compare 1 K 15:13, where Maacah, mother of Asa, is said to have "made an abominable image for an Asherah" in Jerusalem).

6. Partial Reform:

The close of this dark reign, however, is brightened by a partial reform. In his distress, we are told, "Jehoahaz besought Yahweh, and Yahweh hearkened unto him" (2Ki 13:4). If the siege of Samaria in 2Ki 6 belongs to his reign, we might connect this with his wearing "sackcloth within upon his flesh" (6:30)—an act of humiliation only accidentally discovered by the rending of his garments. 2Ki 6:5 goes on to say that "Yahweh gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians." The "saviour" may refer to Joash, under whom the deliverance began (13:25), or to Jeroboam II, of whom it is declared that by him God "saved" Israel (14:27). Others take it to refer to Ramman-nirari III, king of Assyria, whose conquest of Damascus made possible the victories of these kings.


W. Shaw Caldecott

(2) A king of Judah, son and successor of Josiah; reigned three months and was deposed, 608 BC. Called "Shallum" in Jer 22:11; compare 1Ch 3:15. The story of his reign is told in 2Ki 23:30-35, and in a briefer account in 2Ch 36:1-3. The historian o 2 Kings characterizes his reign as evil; 2Ch passes no verdict upon him. On the death of his father in battle, which threw the realm into confusion, he, though a younger son (compare 2Ki 23:31 with 23:36; 1Ch 3:15 makes him the fourth son of Josiah), was raised to the throne by "the people of the land," the same who had secured the accession to his father; see under JOSIAH. Perhaps, as upholders of the sterling old Davidic idea, which his father had carried out so well, they saw in him a better hope for its integrity than in his elder brother Jehoiakim (Eliakim), whose tyrannical tendencies may already have been too apparent. The prophets also seem to have set store by him, if we may judge by the sympathetic mentions of him in Jer 22:11 and Eze 1:3,4. His career was too short, however, to make any marked impression on the history of Judah.

Josiah’s ill-advised meddling with the designs of Pharaoh-necoh (see under JOSIAH) had had, in fact, the ill effect of plunging Judah again into the vortex of oriental politics, from which it had long been comparatively free. The Egyptian king immediately concluded that so presumptuous a state must not be left in his rear unpunished. Arrived at Riblah on his Mesopotamian expedition, he put Jehoahaz in bonds, and later carried him prisoner to Egypt, where he died; raised his brother Jehoiakim to the throne as a vassal king; and imposed on the realm a fine of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. So the fortunes of the Judean state, so soon after Josiah’s good reign, began their melancholy change for the worse.

John Franklin Genung

(3) In 2Ch 21:17; 25:23 = AHAZIAH, king of Judah (which see) (2Ki 8:25 ff; 2Ch 22:1 ).


je-ho’-ash, the uncontracted form of (yeho’ash, yo’ash, "Yahweh has bestowed"; compare 2Ki 11:2,21; 12:1,19; 2Ch 24:1, etc.; Ioas):

(1) The 9th king of Judah; son of Ahaziah and Zibiah, a woman of Beersheba (2Ki 11-12; 2Ch 22:10-24:27). Jehoash was 7 years old at his accession, and reigned 40 years. His accession may be placed in 852 BC. Some include in the years of his reign the 6 years of Athaliah’s usurpation.

I. Ninth King of Judah

1. His Early Preservation:

When, on Athaliah’s usurpation of the throne, she massacred the royal princes, Jehoash was saved from her unnatural fury by the action of his aunt Jehosheba, the wife of Jehoiada, the high priest (2Ki 11:1,2; 2Ch 22:10,11). During 6 years he was concealed in the house of Jehoiada, which adjoined the temple; hence, is said to have been "hid in the house of Yahweh"—a perfectly legitimate use of the phrase according to the idiom of the time.

2. The Counter-Revolution:

During these formative years of Jehoash’s early life, he was under the moral and spiritual influence of Jehoiada—a man of lofty character and devout spirit. At the end of 6 years, a counter-revolution was planned by Jehoiada, and was successfully carried out on a Sabbath, at one of the great festivals. The accounts of this revolution in Kings and Chronicles supplement each other, but though the Levitical interest of the Chronicler is apparent in the details to which he gives prominence, the narratives do not necessarily collide, as has often been represented. The event was prepared for by the young king being privately exhibited to the 5 captains of the "executioners" (the Revised Version (British and American) "Carites") and "runners" (2Ki 11:4; 2Ch 23:1). These entered into covenant with Jehoiada, and, by his direction, summoned the Levites from Judah (2Ch 23:2), and made the necessary arrangements for guarding the palace and the person of the king. In these dispositions both the royal body-guard and the Levites seem to have had their parts. Jehoash next appears standing on a platform in front of the temple, the law of the testimony in his hand and the crown upon his head. Amid acclamations, he is anointed king. Athaliah, rushing on the scene with cries of "treason" (see ATHALIAH), is driven forth and slain. A new covenant is made between Yahweh and the king and people, and, at the conclusion of the ceremony, a great procession is formed, and the king is conducted with honor to the royal house (2Ki 11:19; 2Ch 23:20). Thus auspiciously did the new reign begin.

3. Repair of the Temple:

Grown to manhood (compare the age of his son Amaziah, 2Ki 14:25), Jehoash married two wives, and by them had sons and daughters (2Ch 24:3). His great concern at this period, however, was the repair of the temple—the "house of Yahweh"—which in the reign of Athaliah had been broken up in many places, plundered, and allowed to become dilapidated (2Ki 12:5,12; 2Ch 24:7). To meet the expense of its restoration, the king gave orders that all moneys coming into the temple, whether dues or voluntary offerings, should be appropriated for this purpose (2Ki 12:4), and from the account in Chronicles would seem to have contemplated a revival of the half-shekel tax appointed by Moses for the construction of the tabernacle (2Ch 24:5,6; compare Ex 30:11-16; 38:25). To enforce this impost would have involved a new census, and the memory of the judgments which attended David’s former attempt of this kind may well have had a deterrent effect on Jehoiada and the priesthood. "The Levites hastened it not," it is declared (2Ch 24:5).

4. A New Expedient:

Time passed, and in the 23rd year of the king’s reign (his 30th year), it was found that the breaches of the house had still not been repaired. A new plan was adopted. It was arranged that a chest with a hole bored in its lid should be set up on the right side of the altar in the temple-court, under the care of two persons, one the king’s scribe, the other an officer of the high priest, and that the people should be invited to bring voluntarily their half-shekel tax or other offerings, and put it in this box (2Ki 12:9; 2Ch 24:8,9). Gifts from worshippers who did not visit the altar were received by priests at the gate, and brought to the box. The expedient proved brilliantly successful. The people cheerfully responded, large sums were contributed, the money was honestly expended, and the temple was thoroughly renovated. There remained even a surplus, with which gold and silver vessels were made, or replaced, for the use of the temple. Jehoiada’s long and useful life seems to have closed soon after.

5. The King’s Declension:

With the death of this good man, it soon became evident that the strongest pillar of the state was removed. It is recorded that "Jehoash did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him" (2Ki 12:2), but after Jehoiada had been honorably interred in the sepulchers of the kings (2Ch 24:16), a sad declension became manifest. The princes of Judah came to Jehoash and expressed their wish for greater freedom in worship than had been permitted them by the aged priest. With weak complaisance, the king "hearkened unto them" (2Ch 24:17). Soon idols and Asherahs began to be set up in Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. Unnamed prophets raised their protests in vain. The high priest Zechariah, a worthy son of Jehoiada, testified in his place that as the nation had forsaken Yahweh, he also would forsake it, and that disaster would follow (2Ch 24:20). Wrathful at the rebuke, the king gave orders that Zechariah should be stoned with stones in the temple-court (2Ch 24:21). This was done, and the act of sacrilege, murder, and ingratitude was perpetrated to which Jesus seems to refer in Mt 23:35; Lu 11:51 ("son of Barachiah" in the former passage is probably an early copyist’s gloss through confusion with the prophet Zechariah).

6. Calamities and Assassination:

The high priest’s dying words, "Yahweh look upon it, and require it," soon found an answer. Within a year of Zechariah’s death, the armies of Hazael, the Syrian king, were ravaging and laying waste Judah. The city of Gath fell, and a battle, the place of which is not given, placed Jerusalem at the mercy of the foe (2Ki 12:17; 2Ch 24:23,24). To save the capital from the indignity of foreign occupation, Jehoash, then in dire sickness, collected all the hallowed things of the temple, and all the gold of the palace, and sent them to Hazael (2Ki 12:17,18). This failure of his policy, in both church and state, excited such popular feeling against Jehoash, that a conspiracy was formed to assassinate him. His physical sufferings won for him no sympathy, and two of his own officers slew him, while asleep, in the fortress of Millo, where he was paying a visit (2Ki 12:20). He was buried in the city of David, but not in the royal sepulchers, as Jehoiada had been (2Ch 24:25).

Jehoash is mentioned as the father of Amaziah (2Ki 14:1; 2Ch 25:25). His contemporaries in Israel were Jehoahaz (2Ki 13:1) and Jehoash (2Ki 13:10).

(2) The son of Jehoahaz, and 12th king of Israel (2Ki 13:10-25; 14:8-16; 2Ch 25:17-24).

II. Twelveth King of Israel

1. Accession and Reign:

Jehoash reigned for 16 years. His accession may be placed in 813 BC. There were almost simultaneous changes in the sovereignties of Judah and of Assyria—Amazih succeeding to the throne of Judah in the 2nd year of Jehoash, and Ramman-nirari III coming to the throne of Assyria in 811 BC—which had important effects on the history of Israel in this reign.

2. Elisha and Jehoash:

During the three previous reigns, for half a century, Elisha had been the prophet of Yahweh to Israel. He was now aged and on his deathbed. Hearing of his illness, the young king came to Dothan, where the prophet was, and had a touching interview with him. His affectionate exclamation, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof" (2Ki 13:14; compare 2:12), casts a pleasing light upon his character. On his lips the words had another meaning than they bore when used by Elish himself at Elijah’s translation. Then they referred to the "appearance" which parted Elisha from his master; now they referred to the great service rendered by the prophet to the kingdom. Not only had Elisha repeatedly saved the armies of Israel from the ambushes prepared for them by the Syrians (2Ki 6:8-23), but he had given assurance of the relief of the capital when it was at its worst extremity (2Ki 6:24 ). To Jehoash, Elisha’s presence was indeed in place of chariots and horse. The truth was anew demonstrated by the promise which the dying prophet now made to him. Directing Jehoash in the symbolical action of the shooting of certain arrows, he predicted three victories over the Syrians—the first at Aphek, now Fik, on the East of the Lake of Galilee—and more would have been granted, had the faith of the king risen to the opportunity then afforded him (2Ki 6:15-19).

3. Assyria and Damascus:

An interesting light is thrown by the annals of Assyria on the circumstances which may have made these victories of Jehoash possible. Ramman-nirari III, who succeeded to the throne in 811 BC, made an expedition against Damascus, Edom and Philistia, in his account of which he says: "I shut up the king (of Syria) in his chief city, Damascus. .... He clasped my feet, and gave himself up. .... His countless wealth and goods I seized in Damascus." With the Syrian power thus broken during the remainder of this ruler’s reign of 27 years, it may be understood how Jehoash should be able to recover, as it is stated he did, the cities which Ben-hadad had taken from his father Jehoahaz (2Ki 13:25). Schrader and others see in this Assyrian ruler the "saviour" of Israel alluded to in 2Ki 13:5; more usually the reference is taken to be to Jehoash himself, and to Jeroboam II (compare 2Ki 14:27).

4. War With Judah:

The epitome of Jehoash’s reign is very brief, but the favorable impression formed of him from the acts of Elisha is strengthened by another gained from the history of Amaziah of Judah (2Ki 14:8-16; 2Ch 25:17-24). For the purpose of a southern campaign Amaziah had hired a large contingent of troops from Samaria. Being sent back unemployed, these mercenaries committed ravages on their way home, for which, apparently, no redress was given. On the first challenge of the king of Judah, Jehoash magnanimously refused the call to arms, but on Amaziah persisting, the peace established nearly 80 years before by Jehoshaphat (1Ki 22:44) was broken at the battle of Beth-shemesh, in which Amaziah was defeated and captured. Jerusalem opened its gates to the victor, and was despoiled of all its treasure, both of palace and temple. A portion of the wall was broken down, and hostages for future behavior were taken to Samaria (2Ki 14:13,14).

5. Character:

Jehoash did not long survive his crowning victory, but left a resuscitated state, and laid the foundation for a subsequent rule which raised Israel to the zenith of its power. Josephus gives Jehoash a high character for godliness, but, like each of his predecessors, he followed in the footsteps of Jeroboam I in permitting, if not encouraging, the worship of the golden calves. Hence, his conduct is pronounced "evil" by the historian (2Ki 13:11). He was succeeded by his son Jeroboam II.

W. Shaw Caldecott


je-ho-ha’-nan (yehochanan, "Yahweh is (or has been) gracious"):

(1) A Korahite doorkeeper in David’s reign, "son" of Meshelemiah (1Ch 26:3). Septuagint, Luc, has "Jehonathan."

(2) One of the five captains over King Jehoshaphat’s army (2Ch 17:15), probably father of Ishmael, "son of Jehohanan" (2Ch 23:1).

(3) Ezr 10:6 (the King James Version has "Johnnan") =" Johanan" of Ne 12:22,23 =" Jonathan" of Ne 12:11, "son" of Eliashib (Ezr 10:6; but "grandson" in Ne 12:11). He was high priest in Ezra’s time =" Jonas" in 1 Esdras 9:1 (the King James Version "Joanan").

(4) One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:28) =" Joannes" the Revised Version (British and American), "Johannes" the King James Version (1 Esdras 9:29).

(5) Son of Tobiah, the Ammonite, Nehemiah’s opponent (Ne 6:18, the King James Version "Johanan").

(6) Head of the priestly family of Amariah (Ne 12:13).

(7) A priest present at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem (Ne 12:42).

(8) The name in the Hebrew of 2Ch 28:12.

See JOHANAN, (7).

David Francis Roberts


je-hoi’-a-kin (yehoyakhin, "Yahweh will uphold"; called also "Jeconiah" in 1Ch 3:16; Jer 24:1; yekhonyah, "Yahweh will be steadfast," and "Coniah" in Jer 22:24,28; konyahu, "Yahweh has upheld him"; ‘Ioakeim): A king of Judah; son and successor of Jehoiakim; reigned three months and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar; was carried to Babylon, where, after being there 37 years a prisoner, he died.

1. Sources:

The story of his reign is told in 2Ki 24:8-16, and more briefly in 2Ch 36:9-10. Then, after the reign of his successor Zedekiah and the final deportation are narrated, the account of his release from prison 37 years afterward and the honor done him is given as the final paragraph of 2Ki (25:27-30). The same thing is told at the end of the Book of Jer (52:31-34). Neither for this reign nor for the succeeding is there the usual reference to state annals; these seem to have been discontinued after Jehoiakim. In Jer 22:24-30 there is a final pronouncement on this king, not so much upon the man as upon his inevitable fate, and a prediction that no descendant of his shall ever have prosperous rule in Judah.

2. His Reign:

Of the brief reign of Jehoiachin there is little to tell. It was rather a historic landmark than a reign; but its year, 597 BC, was important as the date of the first deportation of Jewish captives to Babylon (unless we except the company of hostages carried away in Jehoiakim’s 3rd (4th) year, Da 1:1-7). His coming to the throne was just at or near the time when Nebuchadnezzar’s servants were besieging Jerusalem; and when the Chaldean king’s arrival in person to superintend the siege made apparent the futility of resistance, Jehoiachin surrendered to him, with all the royal household and the court. He was carried prisoner to Babylon, and with him ten thousand captives, comprising all the better and sturdier element of the people from prince to craftsman, leaving only the poorer sort to constitute the body of the nation under his successor Zedekiah. With the prisoners were carried away also the most valuable treasures of the temple and the royal palace.

3. The Two Elements:

Ever since Isaiah fostered the birth and education of a spiritually-minded remnant, for him the vital hope of Israel, the growth and influence of this element in the nation has been discernible, as well in the persecution it has roused (see under MANASSEH), as in its fiber of sound progress. It is as if a sober sanity of reflection were curing the people of their empty idolatries. The feeling is well expressed in such a passage as Hab 2:18-20. Hitherto, however, the power of this spiritual Israel has been latent, or at best mingled and pervasive among the various occupations and interests of the people. The surrender of Jehoiachin brings about a segmentation of Israel on an unheard-of principle: not the high and low in wealth or social position, but the weight and worth of all classes on the one side, who are marked for deportation, and the refuse element of all classes on the other, who are left at home. With which element of this strange sifting Jeremiah’s prophetic hopes are identified appears in his parable of the Good and Bad Figs (Jer 24), in which he predicts spiritual integrity and upbuilding to the captives, and to the home-staying remainder, shame and calamity. Later on, he writes to the exiles in Babylon, advising them to make themselves at home and be good citizens (Jer 29:1-10). As for the hapless king, "this man Coniah," who is to be their captive chief in a strange land, Jeremiah speaks of him in a strain in which the stern sense of Yahweh’s inexorable purpose is mingled with tender sympathy as he predicts that this man shall never have a descendant on David’s throne (Jer 22:24-30). It is as if he said, All as Yahweh has ordained, but—the pity of it!

4. Thirty-seven Years Later:

In the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, perhaps by testamentary edict of Nebuchadnezzar himself, a strange thing occurred. Jehoiachin, who seems to have been a kind of hostage prisoner for his people, was released from prison, honored above all the other kings in similar case, and thenceforth to the end of his life had his portion at the royal table (2Ki 25:27-30; Jer 52:31-34). This act of clemency may have been due to some such good influence at court as is described in the Book of Daniel; but also it was a tribute to the good conduct of that better element of the people of which he was hostage and representative. It was the last event of Judean royalty; and suggestive for the glimpse it seems to afford of a people whom the Second Isaiah could address as redeemed and forgiven, and of a king taken from durance and judgment (compare Isa 53:8), whose career makes strangely vivid the things that are said of the mysterious "Servant of Yahweh."

John Franklin Genung


je-hoi’-a-da (yehoyadha‘, "Yahweh knows"; Iodae):

(1) Father of Benaiah, the captain of David’s body-guard (2Sa 8:18; 20:23; 23:20,22; 1Ki 1:8, etc.). Jehoiada was "the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel" (2Sa 23:20), but commentators read with Septuagint and Ewald, "Benaiah (the son of Jehoiada) a man of valor." Kabzeel was a town belonging to Judah on the border of Edom in the South (Jos 15:21). In 1Ch 27:5, we read "Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, chief," the Revised Version (British and American), but the Revised Version margin has "chief minister" wrongly. Yet Jehoiada is nowhere else called a priest or even a Levite, though in 1Ch 12:27 (Hebrew, verse 28) a Jehoiada is mentioned as a military "leader of the house of Aaron," who came to David to Hebron with other members of the house of Levi. In 1Ch 27:34 there is named among David’s counselors, "Jehoiada the son. of Benaiah," where some commentators would read with two manuscripts, "Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada" though Curtis, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Chronicles, 295, keeps the Massoretic Text.

(2) Priest in the reigns of Ahaziah, Queen Athaliah, and Jehoash (Joash) of Judah (2Ki 11:4-12:16 (Hebrew 17) = 2Ch 23:1-24:14; 2Ch 22:11; 24:14-16,17-20,22,25). In 2Ki 12:10 (Hebrew, verse 11) he is called "high priest," and is the first to be given that title, but as the priest lived in the temple, there is no meaning in saying that he "came up," so commentators omit the words, "and the chief priest." According to 2Ch 22:11, he had married Jehoshabeath (= Jehosheba), the daughter of the king, i.e. Jehoram.

1. Jehoiada and the Revolt against Athaliah:

(a) The account in 2Ch 23:1-21 differs in many respects from that in 2Ki 11:4-20, but even the latter has its problems, and Stade (ZATW, 1885, 280 ff) pointed out two sources in it. This view is accepted by many. A reader is struck at once by the double reference to the death of Athaliah (2Ki 11:16,20), and the construction of the Hebrew for "making a covenant" is different in 2Ki 11:4 from that in 11:17. Stade holds that there is one narrative in 11:4-12,18b-20 and another in 11:13-18a.

In the first, Jehoiada makes an agreement with the captains of the foreign body-guard, and arranges that both the incoming and outgoing temple-guard shall be kept in the temple at the time when the guard should be changed on the Sabbath, and also that th e young prince, Jehoash, who had been kept in hiding, shall be proclaimed. The captains do this, and the prince is crowned and proclaimed (2Ki 11:4-12). Then officers are set up in the temple, and Jehoash is taken to the royal palace and enthroned. The revolt proves popular with the people of Jerusalem and those of the district, and Athaliah is slain in the palace.

But there are difficulties in this narrative, though the above gives the trend of events; 2Ki 11:5 refers to a third of the guard who "came in on the sabbath," and 11:7 to two companies who "go forth on the sabbath"; the Hebrew is, "they that enter the sabbath" and "they that go out of the sabbath." 2Ki 11:9 makes clear the connection between 11:5 and 7. But 11:6 introduces a difficulty: it seems to denote a division of those who "enter" into three divisions, i.e. the two in 11:6 and one in 11:5. If 11:6 be omitted, as is proposed by many, this difficulty vanishes. But there still remains the question of the change of guards. Commentators say that "they who enter the sabbath" are those who leave the temple and enter their quarters at the beginning of the Sabbath, presumably, while "those who go out" are those who leave their quarters to mount guard. This is not impossible as an explanation of the Hebrew. It is further believed that the guard at the temple on the Sabbath was double that on other days. The other explanation, held by older commentators is that on the Sabbath the guard was only half its usual size; this gives another meaning to the Hebrew phrases. On the other hand, it may be held that the revolt took place at the close of the Sabbath, and that the double-sized guard was kept by Jehoiada even after the usual-sized one had come to take their place. It should be added that Wellhausen proposed to read (tse‘adhoth), "armlets" (compare Isa 3:19), for (‘edhuth), "testimony," in 2Ki 11:12; and in 11:19 the words "and all the people of the land" are held to be an addition.

(b) The 2nd narrative (2Ki 11:13-18 a) begins suddenly. Presumably, its earlier part was identical with the earlier part of the 1st narrative, unless 2Ki 11:6 was a part originally of this 2nd account. Athaliah hears the noise of the people (11:13, where "the guard" is a gloss and so to be omitted), and comes to the temple, where she witnesses the revolt and cries, "Treason! treason!" Jehoiada orders her to be put forth (omit "between the ranks" in 11:15), so that she should not be slain in the temple, and she is murdered at one of the palace entrances (11:16, where the Revised Version (British and American), following Septuagint of 2Ch 23:15, translates the first sentence wrongly: it should be "So they laid hands on her"). Jehoiada then makes the king and the people enter into a solemn covenant to be Yahweh’s people, and the result is the destruction of the temple of Baal, and the death of Mattan, its priest (1Ki 11:17,18 a). This 2nd narrative gives a religious significance to the revolt, but it is incomplete. The other narrative presents a very natural course of events, for it was absolutely necessary for Jehoiada to secure the allegiance of the royal foreign body-guard.

(c) The account in 2Ch 23:1-21, though following that of 2Ki in the main, differs from it considerably. The guard is here composed of Levites; it does not mention the foreign body-guard, and relates how the revolt was planned with the Levites of the cities of Judah—a method which would have become known to Athaliah and for which she would have made preparations, no doubt. Ch makes it a wholly religious movement, while 2 Kings gives two points of view. The value of the Chronicler’s account depends largely on one’s estimate of the Books of Chronicles and one’s views as to the development of the Jewish priestly system. A. Van Hoonacker, Lesacerdoce levitique dans la loi et dans l’histoire des Hebreux, 93-100, defends the account in 2 Chronicles.

2. Jehoiada and the Restoration of the Temple:

The part which Jehoiada played in the restoration of the temple buildings is described in 2Ki 11:21-12:16 (Hebrew 12:1-17) parallel 2Ch 24:1-14. Here again the narratives of 2Ki and 2Ch differ to a large extent.

(a) According to 2 Kings,

(i) the priests are commanded by Jehoash to devote the dues or free-will offerings of the people to repairing the breaches in the temple. They fail to do so, and

(ii) Jehoiada is summoned by the king and rebuked. Then

(iii) a new regulation is put into force: the offerings, except the guilt offerings and sin offerings, are no longer to be given to the priests, but to be put into a chest provided in the temple for the purpose.

(iv) The money got in this way is devoted to repairing the temple, but

(v) none of it is used to provide temple vessels.

(b) Chronicles, on the other hand,

(i) relates that the priests and Levites are commanded to go through Judah to collect the necessary money. They "hastened it not." Then

(ii) Jehoiada is summoned to account for this disobedience, and

(iii) a chest is put outside the temple to receive the tax commanded by Moses.

(iv) This the people pay willingly, and the temple is repaired. There is such a surplus that

(v) there is money also to provide vessels for the temple.

It is at least questionable whether the additions in 2 Chronicles are trustworthy; the contradictions against 2 Kings are clear, and the latter gives the more likely narrative, although Van Hoonackcr (op. cit., 10114) defends the former.

According to 2Ch 24:15, Jehoiada lived to be 130 years old, and was buried among the kings—a unique distinction.

(3) The King James Version in Ne 3:6 = JOIADA (which see).

(4) There is a Jehoiada, the priest mentioned in Jer 29:26, in whose stead Zephaniah was declared priest by Shemaiah in a letter.

Giesebrecht takes him to be the same as the priest of Athaliah’s time (see (2) above), but Duhm says that nothing is known of him. In any case, Zephaniah could not have been the direct successor of the well-known Jehoiada, and so the reference can scarcely be to him if it is to have any meaning.

David Francis Roberts


je-hoi’-a-kim (yehoyaqim, "Yahweh will establish"; Ioakeim): The name given him by Pharaoh-necoh, who raised him to the throne as vassal king in place of his brother Jehoahaz, is changed from Eliakim (‘elyaqim, "God will establish"). The change compounds the name, after the royal Judean custom, with that of Yahweh; it may also imply that Necoh claims Yahweh’s authorization for his act, as in a similar way Sennacherib had claimed it for his invasion of Judah (2Ki 18:25). He has represented the campaign with which Josiah interfered as undertaken by Divine command (’El, 2Ch 35:21); this episode of it merely translates the authorization, rather arrogantly, into the conquered nation’s dialect.

A king of Judah, elder (half-) brother and successor of Jehoahaz; reigned 11 years from 608 BC.

I. Sources for His Life and Time.

1. Annalistic:

The circumstances of his accession and raising of the indemnity to Pharaoh-necoh, followed by a brief resume of his reign, are narrated in 2Ki 23:34-24:6. The naming of the source for "the rest of his acts" (24:5) is the last reference we have to "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah." The account in 2Ch 36:5-8, though briefer still, mentions Nebuchadnezzar’s looting of the temple at some uncertain date in his reign. Neither account has any good to say of Jehoiakim; to the writer of 2 Kings, however, his ill fortunes are due to Yahweh’s retributive justice for the sins of Manasseh; while to the Chronicler the sum of his acts, apparently connected with the desecration of the sanctuary, is characterized as "the abominations which he did." For "the rest of his acts" we are referred, also for the last time, to the "book of the kings of Israel and Judah."

2. Prophetic:

For the moral and spiritual chaos of the time, and for prophecies and incidents throwing much light on the king’s character, Jeremiah has a number of extended passages, not, however, in consecutive order.

The main ones clearly identifiable with this reign are: 2Ki 22:13-19, inveighing against the king’s tyrannies and predicting his ignominious death; 2 Kings 26, dated in the beginning of his reign and again predicting (as had been predicted before in 7:2-15) the destruction of the temple; 2 Kings 25, dated in his 4th year and predicting the conquest of Judah and surrounding nations by Nebuchadnezzar; 2 Kings 36, dated in the 4th and 5th years, and telling the story of the roll of prophecy which the king destroyed; 2 Kings 45, an appendix from the 4th year, reassuring Baruch the scribe, in terms of the larger prophetic scale, for his dismay at what he had to write; 2 Kings 46, also an appendix, a reminiscence of the year of Carchemish, containing the oracle then pronounced against Egypt, and giving words of the larger comfort to Judah. The Book of the prophet Habakkuk, written in this reign, gives expression to the prophetic feeling of doubt and dismay at the unrequited ravages of the Chaldeans against a people more righteous than they, with a sense of the value of steadfast faith and of Yahweh’s world-movement and purpose which explains the seeming enormity.

II. Character and Events of His Reign.

1. The Epoch:

The reign of Jehoiakim is not so significant for any personal impress of his upon his time as for the fact that it fell in one of the most momentous epochs of ancient history. By the fall of Nineveh in 606 to the assault of Nebuchadnezzar, then crown prince of the rising Babylonian empire, Assyria, "the rod of (Yahweh’s) anger" (Isa 10:5), ended its arrogant and inveterate sway over the nations. Nebuehadnezzar, coming soon after to the Chaldean throne, followed up his victory by a vigorous campaign against Pharaoh-necoh, whom we have seen at the end of Josiah’s reign (see under JOSIAH) advancing toward the Euphrates in his attempt to secure Egyptian dominion over Syria and Mesopotamia. The encounter took place in 605 at Carehemish on the northern Euphrates, where Necoh was defeated and driven back to the borders of his own land, never more to renew his aggressions (2Ki 24:7). The dominating world-empire was now in the hands of the Chaldeans, "that bitter and hasty nation" (Hab 1:6); the first stage of the movement by which the world’s civilization was passing from Semitic to Aryan control. With this world-movement Israel’s destiny was henceforth to be intimately involved; the prophets were already dimly aware of it, and were shaping their warnings and promises, as by a Divine instinct, to that end. It was on this larger scale of things that they worked; it had all along been their endeavor, and continued with increasing clearness and fervor, to develop in Israel a conscience and stamina which should be a leavening power for good in the coming great era (compare Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-3).

2. The King’s Perverse Character:

Of all these prophetic meanings, however, neither the king nor the ruling classes had the faintest realization; they saw only the political exigencies of the moment. Nor did the king himself, in any patriotic way, rise even to the immediate occasion. As to policy, he was an unprincipled opportunist: vassal to Necoh to whom he owed his throne, until Necoh himself was defeated; enforced vassal to Nebuchadnezzar for 3 years along with the other petty kings of Western Asia; then rebelling against the latt er as soon as he thought he could make anything by it. As to responsibility of administration, he had simply the temper of a despotic self-indulgent Oriental. He raised the immense fine that Necoh imposed upon him by a direct taxation, which he farmed out to unscrupulous officials. He indulged himself with erecting costly royal buildings, employing for the purpose enforced and unpaid labor (Jer 22:13-17); while all just interests of his oppressed subjects went wholly unregarded. As to religion, he let matters go on as they had been under Manasseh, probably introducing also the still more strange and heathenish rites from Egypt and the East of which we see the effects in Eze 8:5-17. And meanwhile the reformed temple-worship which Josiah had introduced seems to have become a mere formal and perfunctory matter, to which, if we may judge by his conspicuous absence from fast and festal occasions (e.g. Jer 26; 36), the king paid no attention. His impious act of cutting up and burning Jeremiah’s roll (Jer 36:23), as also his vindictive pursuit and murder of Uriah for prophesying in the spirit of Jeremiah (26:20-23), reveal his antipathy to any word that does not prophesy "smooth things" (compare Isa 30:10), and in fact a downright perversity to the name and w ill of Yahweh.

3. The Prophetic Attitude:

With the onset of the Chaldean power, prophecy, as represented in the great seers whose words remain to us, reached a crisis which only time and the consistent sense of its Iarger issues could enable it to weather. Isaiah, in his time, had stood for the inviolability of Zion, and a miraculous deliverance had vindicated his sublime faith. But with Jeremiah, conditions had changed. The idea thus engendered, that the temple was bound to stand and with it Jerusalem, an idea confirmed by Josiah’s centralizing reforms, had become a superstition and a presumption (compare Jer 7:4); and Jeremiah had reached the conviction that it, with its wooden rites and glaring abuses, must go: that nothing short of a clean sweep of the old religious fetishes could cure the inveterate unspirituality of the nation. This conviction of his must needs seem to many like an inconsistency—to set prophecy against itself. And when the Chaldean appeared on the scene, his counsel of submission and prediction of captivity would seem a double inconsistency; not only a traversing of a tested prophecy, but treason to the state. This was the situation that he had to encounter; and for it he gave his tender feelings, his liberty, his life. It is in this reign of Jehoiakim that, for the sake of Yahweh’s word and purpose, he is engulfed in the deep tragedy of his career. And in this he must be virtually alone. Habakkuk is indeed with him in sympathy; but his vision is not so clear; he must weather disheartening doubts, and" cherish the faith of the righteous (Hab 2:4), and wait until the vision of Yahweh’s secret purpose clears (Hab 2:1-3). If the prophets themselves are thus having such an equivocal crisis, we can imagine how forlorn is the plight of Yahweh’s "remnant," who are dependent on prophetic faith and courage to guide them through the depths. The humble nucleus of the true Israel, which is some day to be the nation’s redeeming element, is undergoing a stern seasoning.

4. Harassing and Death:

After Syria fell into Nebuchadnezzar’s power, he seems to have established his headquarters for some years at Riblah; and after Jehoiada attempted to revolt from his authority, he sent against him guerrilla bands from the neighboring nations, and detachments from his Chaldean garrisons, who harassed him with raids and depredations. In 2Ch 36:6,7, it is related that Nebuchadnezzar carried some of the vessels of the temple to Babylon and bound the king in fetters to carry him also to Babylon—the latter purpose apparently not carried out. This was in Jehoiada’s 4th year. In Da 1:1,2, though ascribed to Jehoiakim’s 3rd year, this same event is related as the result of a siege of Jerusalem. It is ambiguously intimated also that the king was deported; and among "the seed royal and of the nobles" who were of the company were Daniel and his three companions (Da 1:3,6). The manner of Jehoiakim’s death is obscure. It is merely said (2Ki 24:6) that he "slept with his fathers"; but Josephus (Ant., X, vi, 3) perhaps assuming that Jeremiah’s prediction (Jer 22:19) was fulfilled, states that Nebuchadnezzar slew him and cast his body outside the walls unburied.

John Franklin Genung


je-hoi’-a-rib (yehoyaribh, "Yahweh pleads" or "contends"): A priest in Jerusalem (1Ch 9:10); the name occurs again in 1Ch 24:7 as the name of a family among. the 24 courses of priests = the family Joiarib (yoyaribh, same meaning as above, Ne 1:2,6), the head of which is Matrenai in Ne 12:19. In Ne 11:10 we should probably read ""Jedaiah and Joiarib" for "Jedaiah the son of Joiarib" (compare 1Ch 9:10). Jehoiarib = Joarib in 1 Macc 2:1.


je-hon’-a-dab (yehonadhabh, either "Yahweh is noble" or "liberal," or "Yahweh has impelled") = Jonadab (yonadhabh, same meaning):

(1) Jehonadab in the Hebrew of 2Sa 13:5; but Jonadab in English Versions of the Bible, and in Hebrew and English Versions of the Bible of 13:3,12,35; son of Shimeah, King David’s brother. He was friendly with Amnon his cousin, and is said to be "a very shrewd (the Revised Version (British and American) "subtle") man." He planned to get Tamar to wait upon Amnon. Two years after, when Absalom had murdered Amnon, and David had heard that all the king’s sons were assassinated, Jehonadab assured him that only Amnon was killed; and his reassuring tone is justified (2Sa 13:35); possibly he knew of Absalom’s intentions. Septuagint, Lucian, has "Jonathan" in 2Sa 13:3 ff; and in 2Sa 21:21 parallel 1Ch 20:7, there is mentioned a son of Shimei (=" Shimca," 1Ch 2:7 =" Shammah," 1Sa 16:9), whose name is Jonathan.

See JONATHAN, (4).

(2) Jehonadab in 2Ki 10:15,23; in Hebrew of Jer 35:8,14,16,18 = Jonadab in Jer 35:6,10,19, and English Versions of the Bible of 35:8,14,16,18, "son" of Rechab, of the Kenite clan (1Ch 2:55). Jehonadab is described in 2Ki 10 as an ally of Jehu in the olition of Baal-worship in Samaria. Jehu met him after slaying the son of Ahab (10:15); the second part of the verse should probably be translated "And he greeted him and said to him, Is thy heart upright (with me) as my heart is with thee? And Jehonadab answered, Yes. Then spake Jehu (so the Septuagint), If so, give me thy hand. In Jer 35 (where English Versions of the Bible has Jonadab throughout), he is called the "father" of the Rechabites, who derived from him their ordinances for their nomadic life and abstention from wine.


David Francis Roberts


je-hon’-a-than (yehonathan, "Yahweh has given"): The name is the same as Jonathan: the Hebrew has the two forms for the same person sometimes; sometimes only one is found. See JONATHAN. The form "Jehonathan" occurs as follows in English Versions of the Bible:

(1) A Levite who took part in teaching the Torah in the cities of Judah under Jehoshaphat (2Ch 17:8 English Versions of the Bible and Hebrew).

(2) Head of the priestly family of Shemaiah (Ne 12:18 English Versions of the Bible and Hebrew).

(3) the King James Version and Hebrew in 1Ch 27:25; see JONATHAN, (7).


je-ho’-ram, written also in the abbreviated form, (yehoram, yoram, "Yahweh is high"; the Revised Version (British and American) retains "Joram" for Hebrew yehoram in 2Ki 9:15-24):

(1) Ninth king of Israel (2Ki 1:17-9:28), son of Ahab and Jezebel, successor to his brother Ahaziah, who died childless. He began to reign 853 BC, and reigned 12 years (2Ki 3:1; 8:16).

The statement in 2Ki 1:17, "the second year of Jehoram," follows a system of chronology common to the Lucian group of manuscripts, in which the 1st year of Jehoshaphat falls in the 11th year of Omri; the 24th year of Jehoshaphat in the 1st year of Ahaziah; and the 1st year of Jehoram in the 2nd year of Jehoram of Judah. The double chronology (2Ki 1:17 and 2Ki 3:1) is due to the intention of the compiler of Kings to refer all the acts of Elisha to the reign of Jehoram, thus dislocating the order of events in that reign. Elisha, however, survived Jehoram many years, and it is possible that some of the events are to be referred to subsequent reigns.

I. Ninth King of Israel

1. His Religious Policy:

It is difficult to estimate the religious character of Jehoram. Apparently the fierce fanaticism of Jezebel and the boldness of Ahab reappear in the son in the form of duplicity and superstition. The attempt of Jezebel to substitute Baal for Yahweh had failed. The people were on the side of Yahweh. Otherwise Jehu could not have carried out his bloody reform. All the worshippers of Baal in the land could be gathered into one temple of Baal (2Ki 10:18 ). Evidently Jehoram feared the people. Accordingly he posed as a reformer by putting away the pillar of Baal (2Ki 3:2), while secretly he worshipped Baal (2Ki 3:13 a). Nevertheless, when he got into straits, he expected to receive the help of Yahweh (2Ki 3:13 b). He had not learned that a dual nature is as impossible as a union of Baal and Yahweh.

2. The Moabite War:

Immediately upon his accession, Jehoram came into conflict with Mesha, king of Moab (2Ki 3:4 ). The account of the conflict is of special interest because of the supplementary information concerning Mesha furnished by the Moabite Stone. There we learn (ll. 1-8) that Moab became tributary to Israel in the days of Omri, and remained so for forty years, but that it rebelled in the days of Ahab. This probably brings us to the statement in 2Ki 3:4 ff that Mesha "rendered unto the king of Israel the wool f a hundred thousand lambs, and of a hundred thousand rams," and that "when Ahab was dead, .... the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel." The victories of Mesha, glorified by the Moabite Stone, possibly took place before the events of 2Ki 3:4 ff. Accordingly, Jehoram resolved to recover the allegiance of the Moabites. He called to his aid the ally of his father, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the latter’s vassal, the king of Edom. Jehoram was entertained at Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant, IX, ii i, 1). The allies marched against Moab by the longer route, around the southern end of the Dead Sea, indicating that Moab was fortified against attack from the West, and that Israel was weak in the East Jordan country. After the allies had been miraculousl y delivered from perishing for lack of water, they devastated the land and sacked the cities, and finally they succeeded in shutting up Mesha in Kir-hareseth. Driven to despair, Mesha offered his eldest son upon the wall as a burnt offering to Chemosh. This seems to have caused the tide to turn, for "there was great wrath against Israel," and the allies returned to their own land, apparently having failed to secure a lasting advantage.

3. The Conflicts with Syria:

Assuming that 2Ki 4-8 belong to the reign of Jehoram, it appears that the Syrians made frequent incursions into the land of Israel, perhaps more in the nature of plundering robber bands than invasions by a regular army (2Ki 6). Finally, however, Ben-had in person invaded the country and besieged Samaria. The inhabitants were reduced to horrible straits by famine, when the oppressors took sudden flight and Israel was saved. In the years 849, 848, and 845, Shalmaneser II invaded Syria. It is probable that during this period Jehoram recovered Ramoth-gilead, which had fallen to Syria under Ahab. Hazael succeeded Ben-hadad as ruler of Syria, and his first act, after having murdered his predecessor, was to regain Ramoth-gilead. In the defense of the city, Jehoram, who was assisted by his nephew, Ahaziah, was wounded, and returned to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds.

4. The Conspiracy of Jehu:

Jehoram left the army at Ramoth-gilead under the command of Jehu, a popular captain of the host. While Jehoram was at Jezreel, Elisha sent a prophet to anoint Jehu as king of Israel. Jehu had been a witness of the dramatic scene when Elijah hurled the curse of Yahweh at Ahab for his crime against Naboth. Jehu at once found in himself the instrument to bring the curse to fulfillment. Accordingly, he conspired his crime against Jehoram With a company of horsemen he proceeded to Jezreel, where Ahaziah was visiting his sick uncle, Jehoram. Jehoram suspected treachery, and, in company with Ahaziah, he rode out to meet Jehu. On his question, "Is it peace, Jehu?" he received a brutal reply that no longer left him in doubt as to the intention of the conspirator. As Jehoram turned to flee, Jehu drew his bow and shot him in the back so that the arrow pierced his heart. His dead body was thrown into the plat of ground that had belonged to Naboth.

(2) King of Judah, son of Jehoshaphat (2Ki 8:16-24; 2Ch 21:1-20), he began to rule about 849 and reigned 8 years. With reference to the chronological difficulty introduced by 2Ki 1:17, see (1) above.

II. King of Judah

1. His Marriage:

In the beginning of the reigns of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, an attempt was made to end the old feud between Israel and Judah. At the suggestion of Ahab, the two kingdoms, for the first time, joined forces against the common foe from the North, the Syrians. To seal the alliance, Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, was married to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat. Thus Jehoram was brother-in-law to (1) above. No doubt this was considered as a master stroke of conciliatory policy by the parties interested. However, it proved disastrous for Judah. Beyond a doubt, the unholy zeal of Jezebel included the Baalizing of Judah as well as of Israel. This marriage was a step in that direction.

2. His Idolatry:

"A man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife." Jehoram did so. "He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab" (2Ki 8:18). According to 2Ch 21:11,13, Jehoram not only accepted the religion of Athaliah, but he became a persecutor, compelling the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land to become apostates.

3. The Letter of Elijah:

Because of his gross idolatry and his wickedness, he is said (2Ch 21:12 ) to have received a denunciatory letter from the prophet Elijah, which, however, had no effect on him. But this leads to a chronological difficulty. Was Elijah still alive? The inference from 2Ki 3:11 is that he was not. Then, too, the Chronicler otherwise never mentions Elijah. Oettli is of the opinion that one should either read "Elisha" for "Elijah," or else consider the letter to have been the conception of a later writer, who felt that Elijah must have taken note of the wickedness of Jehoram and his wife, Athaliah, daughter of Ahab. In the latter event, the letter might be called a haggadic Midrash.

4. His Character:

A man’s religion cannot be divorced from his character. Baalism had in it the elements of tyranny and civic unrighteousness. In keeping with his religion, and in true oriental fashion, Jehoram began his reign by murdering his brothers, and other princes of the land, to whom Jehoshaphat had given valuable gifts and responsible positions. The only event belonging to his reign recorded in Kings is the revolt of Edom.

5. The Revolt of Edom:

Edom was subdued by David, and, probably with the exception of a temporary revolt under Solomon (1Ki 11:14 ), it had remained subject to the united kingdom or to Judah until the revolt under Jehoram The text is somewhat obscure, but both accounts indicate that the expedition of Jehoram against Edom ended in failure. In the account we are told that at the same time Libnah revolted.

6. The Raid into Judah:

Perhaps the revolt of Libnah should be taken in connection with the invasion of the Philistines and of the Arabians, mentioned in 2Ch 21. Libnah was located on the south-western border of Judah. Since it was a border city, it is possible that the compiler of Kings considered it as belonging to Philistia. In the account in Chronicles, Jehoram is represented as having lost all his possessions and all his family, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons, when the town was sacked and the palace plundered by the invading force of Philistines and Arabians. The account appears to be based upon reliable sources.

7. His Death:

In his last days, he was afflicted with a frightful disease in the bowels. His death was unregretted, and his burial without honor. Contrast, however, 2Ki 8:24 with 2Ch 21:20. Ahaziah, also called Jehoahaz, his younger son, then became king in his stead.

S. K. Mosiman


je-ho-shab’-e-ath (yehoshabh‘ath, "Yahweh is an oath"): In 2Ch 22:11 = JEHOSHEBA (which see) Compare 2Ki 11:2.


je-hosh’-a-fat (yehoshaphaT, "Yahweh has judged"):

(1) King of Judah. See separate article.

(2) Son of Ahilud. He was recorder under David (2Sa 8:16; 20:24; 1Ch 18:15) and Solomon (1Ki 4:3).

(3) Son of Paruah, and Solomon’s overseer in Issachar to provide victuals for the royal household for one month of the year (1Ki 4:17).

(4) Son of Nimshi, and father of Jehu, king of Northern Israel (2Ki 9:2,14). His name is omitted in 9:20 and 1Ki 19:16, where Jehu is called "son of Nimshi."

(5) the King James Version (but not Hebrew) in 1Ch 15:24; the Revised Version (British and American) correctly JOSHAPHAT (which see).

David Francis Roberts


je-hosh’-a-fat (yehoshaphaT, "Yahweh judges"): The 4th king of Judah, son of Asa. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi, of whom nothing further is known. He was 35 years of age at his accession, and reigned 25 years, circa 873-849 BC. Th e history of his reign is contained in 1Ki 22:41-50 and in 2Ch 17:1-21:1. The narrative in 1Ki 22:1-35 a and in 2Ki 3:4 ff belongs to the history of the Northern Kingdom. The absence from Ki of the details contained in 2 Chronicles affords no presumpt against their truth. Neither do high numbers, embellished statements, and the coloring of the writer’s own age destroy the historical perspective.

1. His Religious Policy:

The reign of Jehoshaphat appears to have been one of unusual religious activity. It was, however, characterized not so much by striking religious measures as it was by the religious spirit that pervaded every act of the king, who sought the favor of Yahweh in every detail of his life (2Ch 17:3,4). He evidently felt that a nation’s character is determined by its religion. Accordingly, he made it his duty to purify the national worship. The "sodomites," i.e. those who practiced immorality in the worsh ip of Yahweh in the temple precincts, were banished from the land (1Ki 22:46). The Asherim were taken out of Judah (2Ch 17:6; 19:3), and "the people from Beer-sheba to the hill-country of Ephraim were brought back unto Yahweh, the God of their fathers" (2Ch 19:4). Because of his zeal for Yahweh, Jehoshaphat is rewarded with power and "riches and honor in abundance" (2Ch 17:5).

2. His System of Public Instruction:

Believing that religion and morals, the civilization, suffer from ignorance, Jehoshaphat introduced a system of public instruction for the whole land (2Ch 17:7 ). He appointed a commission, composed of princes, Levites and priests, to go from city to city to instruct the people. Their instruction was to be based on the one true foundation of sound morals and healthy religious life, "the book of the law of Yahweh" (2Ch 17:7-9).

3. His Judicial Institutions:

Next in importance to Jehoshaphat’s system of public instruction, was his provision for the better administration of justice. He appointed judges to preside over courts of common pleas, which he established in all the fortified cities of Judah. In addition to these local courts, two courts of appeal, an ecclesiastical and a civil court, were established at Jerusalem to be presided over by priests, Levites, and leading nobles as judges. At the head of the ecclesiastical court of appeal was the high priest, and a layman, "the ruler of the house of Judah," headed the civil court of appeal (2Ch 19:4-11). The insistence that a judge was to be in character like Yahweh, with whom there is "no iniquity .... nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes" (2Ch 19:7), is worthy of note.

4. His Military Defenses:

According to 2Ch 17:2, Jehoshaphat began his reign with defensive measures against Israel. Furthermore, he built castles and cities of store in the land of Judah, "and he had many works," probably military supplies, "in the cities of Judah" (17:13). He appears to have had a large standing army, including cavalry (1Ki 22:4; 2Ch 17:14 ). However, the numbers in 2Ch 17:14 ff seem to be impossibly high.

5. His Foreign Policy:

Godliness and security at home were followed by respect and peace abroad. The fact that the Philistines and the Arabians brought tribute (2Ch 17:11), and that Edom had no king (1Ki 22:47), but a deputy instead, who possibly was appointed by Jehoshaphat, would indicate that he held the suzerainty over the nations and tribes bordering Judah on the South and West Holding the suzerainty over the weaker nations, and being allied with the stronger, Jehoshaphat secured the peace for the greater part of his reign (1Ch 17:10) that fostered the internal development of the kingdom.

6. His Alliance with Ahab:

In contrast to the former kings of Judah, Jehoshaphat saw greater benefit in an alliance with Israel than in civil war. Accordingly, the old feud between the two kingdoms (1Ki 14:30; 15:6) was dropped, and Jehoshaphat made peace with Israel (1Ki 22:44). The political union was cemented by the marriage of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, to Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Shortly after the marriage, Jehoshaphat joined Ahab in a campaign against Syria (2Ch 18:1-3). In view of the subordinate position that Jehoshaphat seems to take in the campaign (1Ki 22:4,30), and in view of the military service rendered to Jehoram (2Ki 3:4 ), Judah seems to have become a dependency of Israel. Nevertheless, the union may have contributed to the welfare and prospity of Judah, and it may have enabled Jehoshaphat to hold the suzerainty over the neighboring nations. However, the final outcome of the alliance with the house of Omri was disastrous for Judah. The introduction into Judah of Baalism more than counterbalanced any political and material advantage gained, and in the succeeding reigns it indirectly led to the almost total extinction of the royal family of Judah (2Ki 11:1 ).

7. His Alliance with Jehoram:

In spite of the denunciation of the prophet Jehu for his expedition with Ahab, thus "help(ing) the wicked" (2Ch 19:2), Jehoshaphat entered into a similar alliance with Jehoram of Israel (2Ki 3:4 ). On the invitation of Jehoram to join him in an expedition against Moab, Jehoshaphat was ready with the same set speech of acceptance as in the case of Ahab (2Ki 3:7; compare 1Ki 22:4). For the details of the expedition see JEHORAM, (1).

8. Victory over the Moabites and Ammonites:

The Chronicler has given us a very remarkable account of a victory gained by Jehoshaphat over the Moabites and Ammonites. No doubt he made use of a current historical Midrash. Many find the historical basis of the Midrash in the events recorded in 2Ki 3:4 ff. However, the localities are different, and there a defeat is recorded, while in this case we have a victory. The story in outline bears the stamp of probability. 1Ki 22:45 seems to suggest wars of Jehoshaphat that are not mentioned in Kings. The tribes mentioned in the account are represented as trying to make permanent settlement in Judah (2Ch 20:11). In their advance through the South of Judah, they were doubtless harassed by the shepherd population of the country. Jehoshaphat, according to his custom, sought the help of Yahweh. The invading forces fell to quarreling among themselves (2Ch 20:23), and destroyed one another. The spoil was great because the invaders had brought all their goods with them, expecting to remain in the land.

9. Destruction of Jehoshaphat’s Fleet:

The destruction of Jehoshaphat’s fleet is recorded in 1Ki 22:48,49 and in 2Ch 20:35-37. However, the two accounts are quite different. According to Kings, Jehoshaphat built ships of Tarshish to sail to Ophir for gold, but the vessels were wrecked at zion-geber. Thereupon Ahaziah offered to assist Jehoshaphat with seamen, but Jehoshaphat refused to enter into the alliance. According to Chronicles the alliance had been formed, and together they built ships at Ezion-geber, which were destroyed because Jehoshaphat had made an alliance with the wicked king of Israel. In view of Jehoshaphat’s other alliances, the Chronicler may be in the right. Chronicles, however, misunderstood the term "ships of Tarshish."

10. His Death:

Jehoshaphat died at the age of 60. Josephus says (Ant., IX, iii, 2) that he was buried in a magnificent manner, for he had imitated the actions of David. The kingdom was left to Jehoram, who inaugurated the beginning of his reign by causing the massacre of his brethren.

S. K. Mosiman


(‘emeq yehoshaphaT); the latter word means "Yahweh judgeth," and ‘emeq, "wide," "open valley"; Septuagint he koilas Iosaphat): The name is used in Joe 3:2,12 of the scene of Judgment: "Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about" (Joe 3:12). "The valley of decision" (or "sharp judgment") is another name the prophet gives to this spot (Joe 3:14). Some have identified it with the valley (‘emeq) of BERACAH (which see) of 2Ch 20:26, where King Jehoshaphat obtained a great victory, but this is improbable.

Since the 4th century AD the KIDRON (which see) valley has been named the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The tradition is now strongest among the Moslems who point out the exact scene of the Judgment; the Bridge As Sirat, dividing heaven and hell, is to stretch across this valley from the Charam area to the Mount of Olives. It is, however, the ambition of every pious Jew to be buried on the slopes of this valley, to be at hand at the resurrection. This, too, was an ordinary place for Jewish graves in preexilic times (2Ki 23:6, etc.). The valley today, especially that part adjacent to the temple, is crowded with Moslem and Jewish graves. A worthless tradition indicates the tomb of Jehoshaphat himself close to the so-called "Pillar of Absalom." Se KING’S VALE. There is not the slightest reason for believing that this is the spot referred to by Joel—indeed he may have spoken of an ideal spot only. The valley of the Kidron is a nachal ("ravine"), not an ‘emeq ("broad valley"). It is impos sible not to suspect that there is some connection between the name Jehoshaphat and the name of a village near the head of this valley—Shaphat; perhaps at one time it was Wady Shaphat, which name would readily suggest the traditional one.


E. W. G. Masterman


je-hosh’-e-ba, je-ho-she’-ba (yehoshebha‘, "Yahweh is an oath"): Called "Jehoshabeath" in 2Ch 22:11; daughter of Jehoram king of Judah, possibly by a wife other than Athaliah (2Ki 11:2). According to 2Ch 22:11, she was the wife of Jehoiada, the priest. She hid Jehoash, the young son of King Ahaziah, and so saved his life from Queen Athaliah.


je-hosh’-u-a (yehoshua‘, "Yahweh is deliverance," or "is opulence"): The usual Hebrew form of the name "Joshua"; it occurs in the King James Version of Nu 13:16 (the American Standard Revised Version "Hoshea"); and in some editions of the King James Version in 1Ch 7:27, where others have the form "Jehoshuah" (h being wrongly added at the end).



je-ho’-va, je-ho’-va.





je-ho’-va-ji’-re (yahweh yir’-eh, "Yahweh sees"): The name given by Abraham to the place where he had sacrificed a ram provided by God, instead of his son Isaac (Ge 22:14). The meaning plainly is that the Lord sees and provides for the necessities of His servants. There is an allusion to Ge 22:8 where Abraham says, "God will provide himself (the Revised Version, margin "will see for himself") the lamb for a burnt offering." The verse (22:14 the King James Version) goes on to connect the incident with the popular proverb, "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (the Revised Version (British and American) "provided"), the Revised Version margin suggests "he shall be seen." "The mount of Yahweh" in other places denotes the temple hill at Jerusalem (Ps 24:3; Isa 2:3, etc.). With changes of the punctuation very different readings have been suggested. According to Swete’s text: "And Abraham called the name of that place (the) ‘Lord saw’ (aorist) in order that they may say today: ‘In the mountain (the) Lord was seen’"( aorist). Septuagint reads, "In the mountain Yahweh seeth," or "will see." If there is merely a verbal connection between the clauses we should most naturally read, "In the mount of Yahweh one is seen (appears)," i.e. men, people, appear—the reference being to the custom of visiting the temple at pilgrimages (Driver, HDB, under the word). But if the connection of the proverb with the name "Yahweh-jireh" depends on the double sense of the word "see," then the best explanation may be, Yahweh sees the needs of those who come to worship before Him on Zion, and there "is seen," i.e. reveals Himself to them by answering their prayers and supplying their wants. His "seeing," in other words, takes practical effect in a "being seen" (ibid.).

W. Ewing


je-ho’-va nis’-i (yahweh nicci, "Yahweh is my banner"): So Moses named the altar which he reared to signalize the defeat of the Amalekites by Israel under Joshua, at Rephidim (Ex 17:15). Septuagint translates "the Lord my refuge," deriving nicci from nuc, "to flee." Targum Onkelos reads, "Moses built an altar and worshipped on it before Yahweh, who had wrought for him miracles" (niccin). The suggestion is that the people should rally round God as an army gathers round its standard. He it is who leads them to victory.


je-ho’-va sha’-lom (yahweb shalom, "Yahweh is peace"): This was the name given by Gideon to the altar he built at Ophra, in allusion to the word spoken to him by the Lord, "Peace be unto thee" (Jud 6:24). It is equivalent to "Yahweh is well disposed."


je-ho’-va sham’-a (yahweh shammah, "Yahweh is there"): The name to be given to the new Jerusalem, restored and glorified, as seen in the vision of Eze (48:35 margin; compare Re 21:3). Yahweh returns to the temple which He had forsaken, and from that time forward the fact of supreme importance is that He is there, dwelling in the midst of His people.


je-ho’-va tsid-ke’-nu, tsid’-ke-nu (yahweh tsidhqenu, "Yahweh (is) our righteousness"): The symbolic name given

(1) to the king who is to reign over the restored Israel (Jer 23:6);

(2) to the state or capital (Jer 33:16).


je-hoz’-a-bad (yehozabhadh, "Yahweh has bestowed"):

(1) A servant of King Jehoash of Judah. According to 2Ki 12:21 (22), he was a son of Shomer, but 2Ch 24:26 makes him "son of Shimrith the Moabitess."

(2) A Korahite doorkeeper, son of Obed-edom (1Ch 26:4).

(3) A Benjamite, one of King Jehoshaphat’s warriors (2Ch 17:18).


je-hoz’-a-dak (yehotsadhaq, "Yahweh is righteous"): Priest at the time of the captivity under Nebuchadrezzar (1Ch 6:14,15. He was the father of Joshua (Jeshua) the priest (Hag 1:1,12,14; 2:2,4; Zec 6:11). the King James Version has Josedech in Hag and Zec. Same as "Jozadak" (yotsadhaq, same meaning) in Ezr 3:2,8; 5:2; 10:18; Ne 12:26; and =" Josedek" (King James Version "Josedec") of 1 Esdras 5:5,48,56; 6:2; 9:19; Sirach 49:12.


je’-hu (yehu; meaning uncertain, perhaps "Yahweh is he"; 1Ki 19:16,17; 2Ki 9; 10; Eiou): Son of Jehoshaphat, and descendant of Nimshi, hence, commonly called "the son of Nimshi"; 10th king of Israel, and founder of its IVth Dynasty. Jehu reign for 28 years. His accession may be reckoned at circa 752 BC (some date a few years later).

1. Officer of Ahab:

A soldier of fortune, Jehu appears first as an officer in the body-guard of Ahab. To himself we owe the information that he was present at the judicial murder of Naboth, and that Naboth’s sons were put to death with their father (2Ki 9:26). He was in attendance when Ahab drove from Samaria to inspect his new possession in Jezreel, and was witness of the dramatic encounter at the vineyard between the king and the prophet Elijah (compare 1Ki 21:16 ff). Years after, Jehu reminded Bidkar, his captain (literally, "thirdsman," in chariot), of the doom they had there heard pronounced upon Ahab and his house (2Ki 9:25 ). It was in fulfillment of this doom that Jehu at that time ordered the body of the slain Jehoram to be thrown into the enclosure which had once been Naboth’s (2Ki 9:26). Ahab’s temporary repentance averted the punishment from himself for a few years (1Ki 21:27-29), but the blow fell at the battle of Ramoth-gilead, and Jehu would not be unmindful of the prophet’s words as he beheld the dogs licking Ahab’s blood as they washed his chariot "by the pool of Samaria" (1Ki 22:38).

2. Jehoram at Ramoth-gilead and Jezreel:

A different fate awaited Ahab’s two sons. The elder, Ahaziah, died, after a short reign, from the effects of an accident (2Ki 1). He was succeeded by his brother Jehoram, who toward the close of his reign of 12 years (2Ki 3:1) determined on an attempt to recover Ramoth-gilead, where his father had been fatally stricken, from Hazael, of Syria. Ramoth-gilead was taken (2Ki 9:14), but in the attack the Israelite king was severely wounded, and was taken to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds (2Ki 9:15). The city meanwhile was left in charge of Jehu and his fellow-captains. At Jezreel he was visited by Ahaziah, of Judah, who had taken part with him in the war (2Ki 8:28,29; 9:16).

3. The Anointing of Jehu:

The time was now ripe for the execution of the predicted vengeance on the house of Ahab, and to Elisha the prophet, the successor of Elijah, it fell to take the decisive step which precipitated the crisis. Hazael and Jehu had already been named to Elijah as the persons who were to execute the Divine judgment, the one as king of Syria, the other as king of Israel (1Ki 19:15-17). Elijah was doubtless aware of this commission, which it was now his part, as respected Jehu, to fulfill. A messenger was hastily dispatched to Ramoth-gilead, with instructions to seek out Jehu, take him apart, anoint him king of Israel in Yahweh’s name, and charge him with the task of utterly destroying the house of Ahab in punishment for the righteous blood shed by Ahab and Jezebel. The messenger was then to flee. This was done, and Jehu, the sacred oil poured on his head, found himself alone with this appalling trust committed to him (2Ki 9:1-10).

4. The Revolution—Death of Jehoram:

Events now moved rapidly. Jehu’s companions were naturally eager to know what had happened, and on learning that Jehu had been anointed king, they at once improvised a throne by throwing their garments on the top of some steps, blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, "Jehu is king." Not a moment was lost. No one was permitted to leave the city to carry forth tidings, and Jehu himself, with characteristic impetuosity, set out, with a small body of horsemen, in his chariot to Jezreel. Bidkar was there as charioteer (2Ki 9:25). As they came within sight of the city, a watchman reported their advance, and messengers were sent to inquire as to their errand. These were ordered to fall into the rear. This conduct awakened suspicion, and Jehoram and Ahaziah—who was still with his invalided kinsman—ordered their chariots, and proceeded in person to meet Jehu. The companies met at the ill-omened field of Naboth, and there the first stroke of vengeance fell. The anxious query, "Is it peace?" was answered by a storm of denunciation from Jehu, and on Jehoram turning to flee, an arrow from Jehu’s powerful bow shot him through the heart, and he sank dead in his chariot. Ahaziah likewise was pursued, and smitten "at the ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam." He died at Megiddo, and was taken to Jerusalem for burial in the sepulcher of the kings (2Ki 9:11-28). A somewhat variant account of Ahaziah’s death is given in 2Ch 22:9. It is possible that Jehu came to Megiddo or its neighborhood, and had to do with his end there.

5. Death of Jezebel:

The slaughter of Jehoram was at once followed by that of the chief instigator of all the crimes for which the house of Ahab suffered—the queen-mother Jezebel. Hot from the pursuit of Ahaziah, Jehu pressed on Jezreel. Jezebel, now an aged woman, but still defiant, had painted and attired herself, and, looking from her window, met him as he drove into the palace court, with the insulting question, "Is it peace, thou Zimri, thy master’s murderer?" (compare 1Ki 16:9-12). Jehu’s answer was an appeal for aid from those within. Two or three eunuchs of the palace gave signs of their concurrence. These, at Jehu’s bidding, threw Jezebel down into the courtyard, where, lying in her blood, she was trodden under foot by the chariot horses. When, a little later, her remains were sought for burial, she was found to have been almost wholly devoured by the dogs—a lurid commentary on Elijah’s earlier threatening, which was now recalled (2Ki 9:30-37). Jehu was an intrepid minister of judgment, but the pitiless zeal, needless cruelty, and, afterward, deceit, with which he executed his mission, withdraw our sympathy from him, as it did that of a later prophet (Ho 1:4).

6. Slaughter of Ahab’s Descendants:

The next acts of Jehu reveal yet more clearly his thoroughness of purpose and promptitude of action, while they afford fresh exhibitions of his ruthlessness and unscrupulousness of spirit. Samaria was the capital of the kingdom, and headquarters of the Baal-worship introduced by Jezebel, though it is recorded of Jehoram that he had removed, at least temporarily, an obelisk of Baal which his father had set up (2Ki 3:2; compare 10:26). The city was still held for the house of Ahab, and 70 of Ahab’s "son"—to be taken here in the large sense of male descendants—resided in it (2Ki 10:1,6). Jehu here adopted a bold and astute policy. He sent letters to Samaria challenging those in authority to set up one of their master’s sons as king, and fight for the city and the kingdom. The governors knew well that they could make no effective resistance to Jehu, and at once humbly tendered their submission. Jehu, in a second message, bade them prove their sincerity by delivering to him the heads of the 70 princes of Ahab’s house in baskets. This they did, by their act irrevocably committing themselves to Jehu’s cause (2Ki 10:9). The ghastly relics were piled up in two heaps at the gate of Jezreel—a horrible object lesson to any still inclined to hesitate in their allegiance. Friends and partisans of the royal house shared the fate of its members (2Ki 10:11).

7. Slaughter of Ahaziah’s Brethren:

Apart from the faultiness in the agent’s motive, the deeds now recounted fell within the letter of Jehu’s commission. As much cannot be said of the deeds of blood that follow. Jehu had killed Ahaziah, king of Judah. Now, on his way to Samaria, he met a company of 42 persons, described as "brethren of Ahaziah"—evidently blood-relations of various degrees, as Ahaziah’s own brethren had been earlier slain by the Arabians (2Ch 21:17; 22:1)—and, on learning who they were, and of their purpose to visit their kinsfolk at Jezreel, gave orders that they be slain on the spot, and their bodies ignominiously thrown into the pit (or "cistern") of the shearing-house where he had encountered them. It was a cruel excess for which no sufficient justification can be pleaded (2Ki 10:12-14).

8. Massacre of the Worshippers of Baal:

Still less can the craft and violence be condoned by which, when he reached Samaria, Jehu evinced his "zeal for Yahweh" (2Ki 10:16) in the extirpation of the worshippers of Baal. Jehu had secured on his side the support of a notable man—Jehonadab the son of Rechab (2Ki 10:15,16; compare Jer 35:6-19)—and his entrance into Samaria was signalized by further slaying of all adherents of Ahab. Then, doubtless to the amazement of many, Jehu proclaimed himself an enthusiastic follower of Baal. A great festival was organized, to which all prophets, worshippers, and priests of Baal were invited from every part of Israel. Jehu himself took the leading part in the sacrifice (2Ki 10:25). Vestments were distributed to distinguish the true worshippers of Baal from others. Then when all were safely gathered into "the house of Baal," the gates were closed, and 80 soldiers were sent in to massacre the whole deluded company in cold blood. None escaped. The temple of Baal was broken up. Thus, indeed, "Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel" (2Ki 10:28), but at what a frightful cost of falsehood and treacherous dealing! (2Ki 10:18-28).

9. Wars with Hazael:

The history of Jehu in the Bible is chiefly the history of his revolution as now narrated. His reign itself is summed up in a few verses, chiefly occupied with the attacks made by Hazael, king of Syria, on the trans-Jordanic territories of Israel (2Ki 10:32,33). These districts were overrun, and remained lost to Israel till the reign of Jehu’s great-grandson, Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:28).

10. Assyrian Notices:

It is in another direction, namely, to the annals of Assyria, we have to look for any further information we possess on the reign of Jehu In these annals, fortunately, some interesting notices are preserved. In 854 BC was fought the great battle of Qarqar (a place between Aleppo and Hamath), when Shalmaneser II, king of Assyria, defeated a powerful combination formed against him (Damascus, Hamath, Philistia Ammon, etc.). Among the allies on this occasion is mentioned "Ahabbu of Sir’-ilaa," who took the third place with 2,000 chariots and 10,000 footmen. There is a difficulty in supposing Ahab to have been still reigning as late as 854, and Wellhausen, Kamphausen and others have suggested that Ahab’s name has been confused with that of his successor Jehoram in the Assyrian annals. Kittel, in his History of the Hebrews (II, 233, English translation) is disposed to accept this view. G. Smith, in his Assyrian Eponym Canon (179), is of the opinion that the tribute lists were often carelessly compiled and in error as to names. The point of interest is that from this time Israel was evidently a tributary of Assyria.

11. Tribute of Jehu:

With this accord the further notices of Israel in the inscriptions of Shalmaneser II, two in number. Both belong to the year 842 BC and relate to Jehu. On Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk is a pictorial representation of "the tribute of Jehu, son of Omri." An ambassador kneels before the conqueror, and presents his gifts. They include silver, gold, a gold cup, gold vessels, a golden ladle, lead, a staff for the king’s hand, scepters. An allusion to the same event occurs in the annals of Shalmaneser’s campaign against Hazael of Syria in this year. "At that time I received the tribute of the Tyrians, Sidonians, of Jehu, son of Omri."

There are some indications that in his latter years, which were clouded with misfortune, Jehu associated with himself his son Jehoahaz in the government (compare 2Ki 13:1,10, where Jehoahaz comes to the throne in the 23rd, and dies in the 37th year of Jehoash of Judah—14 years—yet has a total reign of 17 years). Jehu is not mentioned in Chronicles, except incidentally in connection with the death of Ahaziah (2Ch 22:9), and as the grandfather of Jehoash (2Ch 25:17).

The character of Jehu is apparent from the acts recorded of him. His energy, determination, promptitude, and zeal fitted him for the work he had to do. It was rough work, and was executed with relentless thoroughness. Probably gentler measures would have failed to eradicate Baal-worship from Israel. His impetuosity was evinced in his furious driving (2Ki 9:20). He was bold, daring, unscrupulous, and masterful and astute in his policy. But one seeks in vain in his character for any touch of magnanimity, or of the finer qualities of the ruler. His "zeal for Yahweh" was too largely a cloak for merely worldly ambition. The bloodshed in which his rule was rounded early provoked a reaction, and his closing years were dark with trouble. He is specially condemned for tolerating the worship of the golden calves (2Ki 10:29-31). Nevertheless the throne was secured to his dynasty for four generations (2Ki 10:30; compare 15:12).

W. Shaw Caldecott


je-hub’-a (yechubbah, meaning unknown): A descendant of Asher, mentioned in 1Ch 7:34, where Qere is wechubbah, "and Hubbah," but Kethibh is yachbah; the Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus follows the Qere.


je-hu’-kal (yechukhal, probably meaning "Yahweh is able"): A courtier sent by King Zedekiah to Jeremiah to ask the prophet to pray for the king and the people (Jer 37:3). Most versions except Septuagint, with Jer 38:1, have "Jucal" ( yukhal, same meaning).


je’-hud (yehudh): A town in the lot of Da named between Baalath and Bene-berak (Jos 19:45). The only possible identification seems to be with el-Yehudiyeh, which lies about 8 miles East of Jaffa.


je-hu’-di (yehudhi, properly "a Jew"): An officer of King Jehoiakim (Jer 36:14,21,23). He was sent by the princes to summon Baruch to read the roll containing Jeremiah’s prophecies to them; he afterward read them to the king, who destroyed them. His name is noteworthy, as also is that of his grandfather Cushi (i.e. "Ethiopian"), and the two are said to point to a foreign origin.


je-hu-di’-ja (1Ch 4:18 the King James Version).



je-hu’-el (Kethibh yechu’el; but Qere yechi’-el, i.e. "Jehiel" the King James Version, in 2Ch 29:14): A Levite.

See JEHIEL, (5).


je’-hush (1Ch 8:39).

See JEUSH, (3).


je-i’-el (ye‘i’el, meaning unknown):

(1) A Reubenite (1Ch 5:7).

(2) In 1Ch 8:29, added in the Revised Version (British and American) from 9:35, where Kethibh is "Jeuel," an ancestor of King Saul; the King James Version "Jehiel."

(3) One of David’s mighty men (1Ch 11:44). the King James Version is "Jehiel"; Kethibh is "Jeuel."

(4) A Levite, keeper of the ark with Obed-edom (1Ch 15:18,21; 16:5; 2Ch 20:14), called "Jehiah" in 1Ch 15:24.

(5) A Levite (1Ch 16:5) =" Jaaziel" of 1Ch 15:18 (which see).

(6) A scribe under King Uzziah (2Ch 26:11).

(7) A chief of the Levites, present at King Josiah’s great Passover feast (2Ch 35:9).

(8) One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:43) =" Juel" in 1 Esdras 9:35.

(9) the King James Version in 2Ch 29:14; see JEHIEL, (5).

(10) the King James Version in Ezr 8:13; see JEUEL, (3).

David Francis Roberts


je-kab’-ze-el (yeqabhtse’el, "God gathers"; Ne 11:25).



jek-a-me’-am, je-kam’-e-am (yeqam‘-am probably "may kinsman establish"): Head of a Levitical house (1Ch 23:19; 24:23). The meaning of the name depends upon that of (‘am) in compound names; see H P N, 46, 51 ff.


jek-am-mi’-a (yeqamyah, "may Yahweh establish"):

(1) A Judahite, son of Shallum (1Ch 2:41).

(2) A son of King Jeconiah (Jehoiachin); in the King James Version "Jecamiah" (1Ch 3:18).


je-ku’-thi-el (yeqthi’el meaning doubtful): A Judahite (1Ch 4:18). The meaning may be "preservation of God" or perhaps the same as yoqthe’el, "Joktheel," the name of a place in Jos 15:38; 2Ki 14:7.


je-mi’-ma (yemimah, perhaps a diminutive meaning "little dove"): The first daughter of Job (42:14), born after his restoration from affliction.


jem’-na-an (Iemnaan): A city on the coast of Palestine; mentioned among those affected by the expedition of Holofernes (Judith 2:28; 3:1 ff). The name is used for Jabniel, generally called "Jamnia" by the Greek writers.


je-mu’-el (yemu’el, meaning unknown): A "son" of Simeon (Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15) =" Nemuel" in Nu 26:12; 1Ch 4:24.

The Syriac version has "Jemuel" in the 4 passages, but Gray (H P N, 307, note 6) thinks "Jemuel" is more probably a correction in Ge than "Nemuel" in Numbers.


jep’-ard, jep’-ar-di: The Eng, word referred originally to a game where the chances were even (from OFr. jeu parti); transferred thence to designate any great risk. In the New Testament, represented by the Greek verb kinduneuo (Lu 8:23; 1Co 15:30). In the Old Testament (Jud 5:18) for a Hebrew idiom, "despise the soul," i.e. they placed a small value upon their lives (Vulgate "offered their souls to death"); for elliptical expression, "went with their lives," in 2Sa 23:17 m.


jef’-tha (yiphtach, "opened," or "opener," probably signifying "Yahweh will open"; Iephthae; used as the name of a place, as in Jos 15:43; 19:14; of a man, Jud 10:6-12:7): Ninth judge of the Israelites. His antecedents are obscure. Assuming Gilead to be the actual name of his father, his mother was a harlot. He was driven from home on account of his illegitimacy, and went to the land of Tobit in Eastern Syria (Jud 11:2,3). Here he and his followers lived the life of freebooters.

The Israelites beyond the Jordan being in danger of an invasion by the Ammonites, Jephthah was invited by the elders of Gilead to be their leader (Jud 11:5,6). Remembering how they had expelled him from their territory and his heritage, Jephthah demanded of them that in the event of success in the struggle with the Ammonites, he was to be continued as leader. This condition being accepted he returned to Gilead (Jud 11:7-11). The account of the diplomacy used by Jephthah to prevent the Ammonites from invading Gilead is possibly an interpolation, and is thought by many interpreters to be a compilation from Nu 20-21. It is of great interest, however, not only because of the fairness of the argument used (Jud 11:12-28), but also by virtue of the fact that it contains a history of the journey of the Israelites from Lower Egypt to the banks of the Jordan. This history is distinguished from that of the Pentateuch chiefly by the things omitted. If diplomacy was tried, it failed to dissuade the Ammonites from seeking to invade Israel. Jephthah prepared for battle, but before taking the field paused at Mizpeh of Gilead, and registered a vow that if he were successful in battle, he would offer as a burnt offering to Yahweh whatsoever should first come from his doors to greet him upon his return (Jud 11:29-31). The battle is fought, Jephthah is the victor, and now his vow returns to him with anguish and sorrow. Returning to his home, the first to greet him is his daughter and only child. The father’s sorrow and the courage of the daughter are the only bright lights on this sordid, cruel conception of God and of the nature of sacrifice. That the sacrifice was made seems certain from the narrative, although some critics choose to substitute for the actual death of the maiden the setting the girl apart for a life of perpetual virginity. The Israelite laws concerning sacrifices and the language used in Jud 11:39 are the chief arguments for the latter interpretation. The entire narrative, however, will hardly bear this construction (11:34-40).

Jephthah was judge in Israel for 6 years, but appears only once more in the Scripture narrative. The men of Ephraim, offended because they had had no share in the victory over the Ammonites, made war upon Gilead, but were put to rout by the forces under Jephthah (Jud 12:1-6).

C. E. Schenk


je-fun’-e (yephunneh, meaning uncertain):

(1) Father of Caleb (Nu 13:6; 14:6,30, etc.).

According to Nu 13:6, he was of the tribe of Judah; according to 32:12; Jos 14:6, a Kenizzite; the Kenizzites were incorporated in Judah (compare 1Ch 4:13-15).

(2) A son of Jether, an Asherite (1Ch 7:38).


je’-ra (yerach): A son of Joktan (Ge 10:26 parallel 1Ch 1:20). No district Jerah has been discovered. However, Yurakh in Yemen and Yarach in Hijaz are places named by the Arabic geographers. The fact that the word in Hebrew means "moon" has led to the following suggestions: the Banu Hilal ("sons of the new moon") in the North of Yemen; Ghubb el-Qamar ("the bay of the moon"), Jebel el-Qamar ("the mountains of the moon") in Eastern Chadramant. But in Southern Arabia worship of the moon has caused the word to bulk largely in place-names.


je-ra’-me-el, je-ra’-me-el-its (yerachme’el, "may God have compassion!"):

(1) In 1Ch 2:9,25,26,27,33,42, he is described as the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah by Tamar his daughter-in-law (Ge 38). In 1Sa 27:10 is mentioned the neghebh of the (ha-yerach-me’eli, a collective noun), the Revised Version (British and American) "the South of the Jerahmeelites." The latter is a tribal name in use probably before the proper name, above; their cities are mentioned in 1Sa 30:29. Cheyne has radical views on Jerahmeel. See EB, under the word; also T. Witton Davies in Review of Theology and Philosophy, III, 689-708 (May, 1908); and Cheyne’s replies in Hibbert Journal, VII, 132-51 (October, 1908), and Decline and Fall of the Kingdom of Judah.

(2) A Merarite Levite, son of Kish (1Ch 24:29).

(3) "The king’s son," the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version margin (Jer 36:26). the Revised Version margin, the King James Version have "son of Hammelech," taking the word ha-melek as a proper name. He was "probably a royal prince, one who had a king among his ancestors but not necessarily son of the ruling king; so 38:6; 1Ki 22:26 b; especially Ze 1:8 written at a time when the reigning king, Josiah, could not have had a grown-up ‘son’ "( Driver, Jeremiah, 224, note e). Jerahmeel was with two others commanded by Jehoiakim to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch.

David Francis Roberts


jer’-e-ku, jer’-e-kus the King James Version (1 Esdras 5:22).



je’-red (yeredh, "descent"): A Judahite, father of Gedor (1Ch 4:18).

See also JARED.


jer’-e-mi, jer-e-ma’-i (yeremay, meaning unknown): One of those who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:33).

See JEREMIAS (1 Esdras 9:34).



(a) yirmeyahu, or

(b) shorter form, yirmeyah, both differently explained as "Yah establishes (so Giesebrecht), whom Yahweh casts," i.e. possibly, as Gesenius suggests, "appoints" (A. B. Davidson in HDB, II, 569a), and "Yahweh looseneth" (the womb); see BDB:

The form (b) is used of Jeremiah the prophet only in Jer 27:1; 28:5,6,10,11,12 b, 15; 29:1; Ezr 1:1; Da 9:2, while the other is found 116 times in Jeremiah alone. In 1 Esdras 1:28,32,47,57; 2 Esdras 2:18, English Versions of the Bible has "Jeremy," so the King James Version in 2 Macc 2:1,5,7; Mt 2:17; 27:9; in Mt 16:14, the King James Version has "Jeremias," but the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Maccabees and Matthew has "Jeremiah."

(1) The prophet. See special article. Of the following, (2), (3) and (4) have form (a) above; the others the form (b).

(2) Father of Hamutal (Hamital), the mother of King Jehoahaz and King Jehoiakim (2Ki 23:31; 24:18 parallel Jer 52:1).

(3) A Rechabite (Jer 35:3).

(4) In 1Ch 12:13 (Hebrew 14), a Gadite.

(5) In 1Ch 12:10 (Hebrew 11), a Gadite.

(6) In 1Ch 12:4 (Hebrew 5), a Benjamite(?) or Judean. (4), (5) and (6) all joined David at Ziklag.

(7) Head of a Manassite family (1Ch 5:24).

(8) A priest who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (Ne 10:2), probably the same as he of 12:34 who took part in the procession at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem.

(9) A priest who went to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel from exile and became head of a priestly family of that name (Ne 12:1).

David Francis Roberts



1. Name and Person

2. Life of Jeremiah

3. The Personal Character of Jeremiah

4. The Prophecies of Jeremiah

5. The Book of Jeremiah

6. Authenticity and Integrity of the Book

7. Relation to the Septuagint (Septuagint)


1. Name and Person:

The name of one of the greatest prophets of Israel. The Hebrew yirmeyahu, abbreviated to yirmeyah, signifies either "Yahweh hurls" or "Yahweh founds." Septuagint reads Iermias, and the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Jeremias. As this name also occurs not infrequently, the prophet is called "the son of Hilkiah" (Jer 1:1), who is, however, not the high priest mentioned in 2Ki 22 and 23, as it is merely stated that he was "of the priests that were in Anathoth" in the land of Benjamin In Anathoth, now Anata, a small village 3 miles Northeast of Jerusalem, lived a class of priests who belonged to a side line, not to the line of Zadok (compare 1Ki 2:26).

2. Life of Jeremiah:

Jeremiah was called by the Lord to the office of a prophet while still a youth (1:6) about 20 years of age, in the 13th year of King Josiah (1:2; 25:3), in the year 627 BC, and was active in this capacity from this time on to the destruction of Jerusalem, 586 BC, under kings Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Even after the fall of the capital city he prophesied in Egypt at least for several years, so that his work extended over a period of about 50 years in all. At first he probably lived in Anathoth, and put in his appearance publicly in Jerusalem only on the occasion of the great festivals; later he lived in Jerusalem, and was there during the terrible times of the siege and the destruction of the city.

Although King Josiah was God-fearing and willing to serve Yahweh, and soon inaugurated his reformation according to the law of Yahweh (in the 18th year of his reign), yet Jeremiah, at the time when he was called to the prophetic office, was not left in doubt of the fact that the catastrophe of the judgment of God over the city would soon come (1:11 ff); and when, after a few years, the Book of the Law was found in the temple (2Ki 22 and 23), Jeremiah preached "the words of this covenant" to the people in the town and throughout the land (11:1-8; 17:19-27), and exhorted to obedience to the Divine command; but in doing this then and afterward he became the object of much hostility, especially in his native city, Anathoth. Even his own brethren or near relatives entered into a conspiracy against him by declaring that he was a dangerous fanatic (12:6). However, the condition of Jeremiah under this pious king was the most happy in his career, and he lamented the latter’s untimely death in sad lyrics, which the author of Chronicles was able to use (2Ch 35:25), but which have not come down to our times.

Much more unfavorable was the prophet’s condition after the death of Josiah. Jehoahaz-Shallum, who ruled only 3 months, received the announcement of his sentence from Jeremiah (22:10 ff). Jehoiakim (609-598 BC) in turn favored the heathen worship, and oppressed the people through his love of luxury and by the erection of grand structures (Jer 22:13 ). In addition, his politics were treacherous. He conspired with Egypt against his superior, Nebuchadnezzar. Epoch- making was the 4th year of Jehoiakim , in which, in the battle of Carchemish, the Chaldeans gained the upper hand in Hither Asia, as Jeremiah had predicted (46:1-12). Under Jehoiakim Jeremiah delivered his great temple discourse (Jer 7-9; 10:17-25). The priests for this reason determined to have the prophet put to death (Jer 26). However, influential elders interceded for him, and the princes yet showed some justice. He was, however, abused by the authorities at the appeal of the priests (Jer 20). According to 36:1 ff, he was no longer permitted to enter the place of the temple. For this reason the Lord commanded him to collect his prophecies in a bookroll, and to have them read to the people by his faithful pupil Baruch (Jer 36; compare Jer 45). The book fell into the hands of the king, who burned it. However, Jeremiah dictated the book a second time to Baruch, together with new additions.

Jehoiachin or Coniah (Jer 22:24 ), the son of Jehoiakim, after a reign of 3 months, was taken into captivity to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, together with a large number of his nobles and the best part of the people (Jer 24:1; 29:2), as the prophet had predicted (Jer 22:20-30). But conditions did not improve under Zedekiah (597-586 BC). This king was indeed not as hostile to Jeremiah as Jehoiakim had been; but all the more hostile were the princes and the generals, who were now in command after the better class of these had been deported to Babylon. They continually planned rebellion against Babylon, while Jeremiah was compelled to oppose and put to naught every patriotic agitation of this kind. Finally, the Babylonian army came in order to punish the faithles s vassal who had again entered into an alliance with Egypt. Jeremiah earnestly advised submission, but the king was too weak and too cowardly as against his nobles. A long siege resulted, which caused the direst sufferings in the life of Jeremiah. The commanders threw him into a vile prison, charging him with being a traitor (37:11 ff). The king, who consulted him secretly, released him from prison, and put him into the "court of the guard" (37:17 ff), where he could move around freely, and could agai n prophesy. Now that the judgment had come, he could again speak of the hopeful future (Jer 32; 33). Also Jer 30 and 31, probably, were spoken about this time. But as he continued to preach submission to the people, those in authority cast him into a slimy cistern, from which the pity of a courtier, Ebed-melech, delivered him (39:15-18). He again returned to the court of the guard, where he remained until Jerusalem was taken.

After the capture of the city, Jeremiah was treated with great consideration by the Babylonians, who knew that he had spoken in favor of their government (39:11 ff; 40:1 ff). They gave him the choice of going to Babylon or of remaining in his native lan d. He decided for the latter, and went to the governor Gedaliah, at Mizpah, a man worthy of all confidence. But when this man, after a short time, was murdered by conscienceless opponents, the Jews who had been left in Palestine, becoming alarmed and fearing the vengeance of the Chaldeans, determined to emigrate to Egypt. Jeremiah advised against this most earnestly, and threatened the vengeance of Yahweh, if the people should insist upon their undertaking (42:1 ff). But they insisted and even compelled the aged prophet to go with them (43:1 ff). Their first goal was Tahpanhes (Daphne), a town in Lower Egypt. At this place he still continued to preach the word of God to his fellow-Israelites; compare the latest of his preserved discourses in 43:8-13, as also the sermon in Jer 44, delivered at a somewhat later time but yet before 570 BC. At that time Jeremiah must have been from 70 to 80 years old. He probably died soon after this in Egypt. The church Fathers report that he was stoned to death at Daphne by the Jews (Jerome, Adv. Jovin, ii, 37; Tertullian, Contra Gnost., viii; Pseudepiphan. De Proph., chapter viii; Dorotheus, 146; Isidorus, Ort. et Obit. Patr., chapter xxxviii). However, this report is not well founded. The same is the case with the rabbinical tradition, according to which he, in company with Baruch, was taken from Egypt to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and died there (Cedher ‘Olam Rabba’ 26).

3. The Personal Character of Jeremiah:

The Book of Jeremiah gives us not only a fuller account of the life and career of its author than do the books of the other prophets, but we also learn more about his own inner and personal life and feelings than we do of Isaiah or any other prophet. From this source we learn that he was, by nature, gentle and tender in his feelings, and sympathetic. A decided contrast to this is found in the hard and unmerciful judgment which it was his mission to announce. God made him strong and firm and immovable like iron for his mission (1:18; 15:20). This contrast between his naturally warm personal feelings and his strict Divine mission not rarely appears in the heart-utterances found in his prophecies. At first he rejoiced when God spoke to him (15:16); but soon these words of God were to his heart a source of pain and of suffering (15:17 ff). He would have preferred not to utter them; and then they burned in his breast as a fire (20:7 ff; 23:9). He personally stood in need of love, and yet was not permitted to marry (16:1 f). He was compelled to forego the pleasures of youth (15:17). He loved his people as nobody else, and yet was always compelled to prophesy evil for it, and seemed to be the enemy of his nation. This often caused him to despair. The enmity to which he fell a victim, on account of his declaration of nothing but the truth, he deeply felt; see his complaints (9:1 ff; 12:5 f; 15:10; 17:14-18; 18:23, and often). In this sad antagonism between his heart and the commands of the Lord, he would perhaps wish that God had not spoken to him; he even cursed the day of his birth (15:10; 20:14-18; compare Job 3:1 ff). Such complaints are to be carefully distinguished from that which the Lord through His Spirit communicated to the prophet. God rebukes him for these complaints, and demands of him to repent and to trust and obey Him (Jer 15:19). This discipline makes him all the more unconquerable. Even his bitter denunciations of his enemies (Jer 11:20 ff; 15:15; 17:18; 18:21-23) originated in part in his passionate and deep nature, and show how great is the difference between him and that perfect Sufferer, who prayed even for His deadly enemies. But Jeremiah was nevertheless a type of that Suffering Saviour, more than any of the Old Testament saints. He, as a priest, prayed for his people, until God forbade him to do so (7:16; 11:14; 14:11; 18:20). He was compelled more than all the others to suffer through the anger of God, which was to afflict his people. The people themselves also felt that he meant well to them. A proof of this is seen in the fact that the rebellious people, who always did the contrary of what he had commanded them, forced him, the unwelcome prophet of God, to go along with them, to Egypt, because they felt that he was their good genius.

4. The Prophecies of Jeremiah:

What Jeremiah was to preach was the judgment upon Judah. As the reason for this judgment Jeremiah everywhere mentioned the apostasy from Yahweh, the idolatry, which was practiced on bamoth, or the "high places" by Judah, as this had been done by Israel. Many heathenish abuses had found their way into the life of the people. Outspoken heathenism had been introduced by such men as King Manasseh, even the sacrifice of children to the honor of Baal-Molech in the valley of Hinnom (7:31; 19:5; 32:35), and the worship of "the queen of heaven" (7:18; 44:19). It is true that the reformation of Josiah swept away the worst of these abominations. But an inner return to Yahweh did not result from this reformation. For the reason that the improvement had been more on the surface and outward, and was done to please the king, Jeremiah charges up to his people all their previous sins, and the guilt of the present generation was yet added to this (16:11 f). Together with religious insincerity went the moral corruption of the people, such as dishonesty, injustice, oppression of the helpless, slander, and the like. Compare the accusations found in 5:1 ff, 7 f, 26 ff; 6:7,13; 7:5 f, 9; 9:2,6,8; 17:9 ff; 21:12; 22:13 ff; 23:10; 29:23, etc. Especially to the spiritual leaders, the priests and prophets, are these things charged up.

The judgment which is to come in the near future, as a punishment for the sins of the people, is from the outset declared to be the conquest of the country through an enemy from abroad. In this way the heated caldron with the face from the North, in the vision containing the call of the prophet (Jer 1:13 ), is to be understood. This power in the North is not named until the 4th year of Jehoiakim (Jer 25), where Nebuchadnezzar is definitely designated as the conqueror. It is often thought, that, in the earlier years of his career, Jeremiah had in mind the Scythians when he spoke of the enemies from the North, especially in Jer 4-6. The Scythians (according to Herodotus i.103 ff) had, probably a few years before Jeremiah’s call to the prophetic office, taken possession of Media, then marched through Asia Minor, and even forced their way as far as Egypt. They crossed through Canaan, passing by on their march from East to West, near Beth-shean (Scythopolis). The ravages of this fierce people probably influenced the language used by Jeremiah in his prophecies (compare 4:11 ff; 5:15 ff; 6:3 ff, 22 ff). But it is unthinkable that Jeremiah expected nothing more than a plundering and a booty-seeking expedition of the Scythian nomad hordes. Chariots, such as are described in 4:13, the Scythians did not possess. Moreover, it must not be forgotten that Jeremiah from the outset speaks of a deportation of his people to this foreign land (3:18; 5:19), while an exile of Israel in the country of the Scythians was out of the question. At all events from the 4th year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah regards the Chaldeans as the enemy who, according to his former announcement, would come from the North It is possible that it was only in the course of time that he reached a clear conviction as to what nation was meant by the revelation from God. But, upon further reflection, he must have felt almost certain on this subject, especially as Isaiah (39:6), Micah (4:10), and, soon after these, Habakkuk had named Babylon as the power that was to carry out the judgment upon Israel. Other prophets, too, regard the Babylonians as belonging to the northern group of nations (compare Zec 6:8), because they always came from the North, and because they were the legal successors of the Assyrians.

In contrast to optimistic prophets, who had hoped to remedy matters in Israel (Jer 6:14), Jeremiah from the beginning predicted the destruction of the city and of the sanctuary, as also the end of the Jewish nation and the exile of the people through these enemies from abroad. According to 25:11; 29:10, the Babylonian supremacy (not exactly the exile) was to continue for 70 years; and after this, deliverance should come. Promises to this effect are found only now and then in the earlier years of the prophet (3:14 ff; 12:14 ff; 16:14 f). However, during the time of the siege and afterward, such predictions are more frequent (compare 23:1 ff; 24:6 f; 47:2-7; and in the "Book of Comfort," chapters 30-33).

What characterizes this prophet is the spiritual inwardness of his religion; the external theocracy he delivers up to destruction, because its forms were not animated by God-fearing sentiments. External circumcision is of no value without inner purity of heart. The external temple will be destroyed, because it has become the hiding-place of sinners. External sacrifices have no value, because those who offer them are lacking in spirituality, and this is displeasing to God. The law is abused and misinterpreted (Jer 8:8); the words of the prophets as a rule do not come from God. Even the Ark of the Covenant is eventually to make way for a glorious presence of the Lord. The law is to be written in the hearts of men (Jer 31:31 ). The glories of the Messianic times the prophet does not describe in detail but their spiritual character he repeatedly describes in the words "Yahweh our righteousness" (Jer 23:6; 33:16). However, we must not over-estimate the idealism of Jeremiah. He believed in a realistic restoration of theocracy to a form, just as the other prophets (compare Jer 31-32, 38-40).

As far as the form of his prophetic utterances is concerned, Jeremiah is of a poetical nature; but he was not only a poet. He often speaks in the meter of an elegy; but he is not bound by this, and readily passes over into other forms of rhythms and also at times into prosaic speech, when the contents of his discourses require it. The somewhat monotonous and elegiac tone, which is in harmony with his sad message to the people, gives way to more lively and varied forms of expression, when the prophet speaks of other and foreign nations. In doing this he often makes use of the utterances of earlier prophets.

5. The Book of Jeremiah:

The first composition of the book is reported in Jer 36:1 ff. In the 4th year of Jehoiakim, at the command of Yahweh, he dictated all of the prophecies he had spoken down to this time to his pupil Baruch, who wrote them on a roll. After the destruction of this book-roll by the king, he would not be stopped from reproducing the contents again and making additions to it (Jer 36:32). In this we have the origin of the present Book of Jeremiah. This book, however, not only received further additions, but has also been modified. While the discourses may originally have been arranged chronologically, and these reached only down to the 4th year of King Jehoiakim, we find in the book, as it is now, as early as Jer 21:1 ff; 23:1 ff; 26:1 ff, discourses from the times of Zedekiah. However, the 2nd edition (Jer 36:28) contained, no doubt, Jer 25, with those addresses directed against the heathen nations extant at that time. The lack of order, from a chronological point of view, in the present book, is attributable also to the fact that historical accounts or appendices concerning the career of Jeremiah were added to the book in later times, e.g. Jer 26; 35; 36 and others; and in these additions are also found older discourses of the prophet. Beginning with Jer 37, the story of the prophet during the siege of Jerusalem and after the destruction of the city is reported, and in connection with this are his words and discourses belonging to this period.

It is a question whether these pieces, which are more narrative in character, and which are the product of a contemporary, probably Baruch, at one time constituted a book by themselves, out of which they were later taken and incorporated in the book of the prophet, or whether they were inserted by Baruch. In favor of the first view, it may be urged that they are not always found at their proper places chronologically; e.g. Jer 26 is a part of the temple discourse in Jer 7-9. However, this "Book of Baruch," which is claimed by some critics to have existed as a separate book beside that of Jeremiah, would not furnish a connected biography, and does not seem to have been written for biographical purposes. It contains introductions to certain words and speeches of the prophet and statements of what the consequences of these had been. Thus it is more probable that Baruch, at a later time, made supplementary additions to the original book, which the prophet had dictated without any personal data. But in this work the prophet himself may have cooperated. At places, perhaps, the dictation of the prophet ends in a narrative of Baruch (Jer 19:14-20:6), or vice versa. Baruch seems to have written a historical introduction, and then Jeremiah dictated the prophecy (27:1; 18:1; 32:1 ff, and others). Of course, the portions of the book which came from the pen of Baruch are to be regarded as an authentic account.

6. Authenticity and Integrity of the Book:

However, critics have denied to Jeremiah and his pupil certain sections of the present book, and they claim that these belong to a later date. Among these is 10:1-16, containing a warning to those in the exile against idolatry (and related to Isa 40 ff) which, it is claimed, could not possibly in this form and fullness be the work of Jeremiah. Also 17:19-27 is without reason denied to Jeremiah, upon the ground that he could not have thought of emphasizing the Sabbath law. He was, however, no modern idealist, but respected also the Divine ordinances (compare 11:1-8). Then Jer 25 is rejected by some, while others attack especially 25:12-14 and 25:27-38; but in both cases without reason. On the other hand, we admit that 25:25 and also 25:13 f are later additions. The words, "all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations," are probably a superscription, which has found its way into the text. In 25:26 the words, "and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them," are likewise considered spurious. Sheshach is rightly regarded here, as in 51:41, as a cipher for "Babel," but the use of ‘At-bash (a cipher in which the order of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet is reversed, taw (t) for ‘aleph (’), shin (sh) for beth (b), etc., hence, SHeSHaKH = BaBHeL, see the commentaries) does not prove spuriousness. The sentence is not found in the Septuagint. The attacks made on Jer 30 and 31 are of little moment. Jer 33:14-26 is not found in the Septuagint, and its contents, too, belong to the passages in Jeremiah that are most vigorously attacked. Critics regard Jeremiah as too spiritual to have perpetuated the Levitical priesthood. In Jer 39:1,2,4-10 are evidently additions that do not belong to this place. The remaining portion can stand. Among the discourses against the nations, Jer 46-51, those in 46:1-12, spoken immediately preceding the battle of Carchemish, cannot be shown to be unauthentic; even 46:13-28 are also genuine. The fact, however, is that the text has suffered very much. Nor are there any satisfactory reasons against the prophecy in Jer 47-49, if we assume that Jeremiah reasserted some of his utterances against the heathen nations that did not seem to have been entirely fulfilled. Jer 50 and 51, the discourses against Babylon, have the distinct impress of Jeremiah. This impression is stronger than the doubts, which, however, are not without weight. The events in 51:59 ff, which are not to be called into question, presuppose longer addresses of Jeremiah against Babylon. The possibility, however, remains that the editing of these utterances as found in the present book dates from the time after 586 BC. That any influence of Deutero-Isaiah or later authors can be traced in Jeremiah cannot be shown with any certainty. Jer 52 was written neither by Jeremiah nor for his book, but is taken from the Books of Kings, and is found there almost verbatim (2Ki 24; 25).

7. Relation to the Septuagint (Septuagint):

A special problem is furnished by the relation of the text of Jeremiah to the Alexandrian version of the Seventy (Septuagint). Not only does the Hebrew form of the book differ from the Greek materially, much more than this is the case in other books of the Old Testament, but the arrangement, too, is a different one. The oracle concerning the heathen nations (Jer 46-51) is in the Septuagint found in the middle of Jer 25, and that, too, in an altogether different order (namely, 49:35 ff, 46; 50; 51; 47:1-7; 49:7-22; 49:1-5,28-33,13-27; 48). In addition, the readings throughout the book in many cases are divergent, the text in the Septuagint being in general shorter and more compact. The Greek text has about 2,700 Hebrew words less than the authentic Hebrew text, and is thus about one-eighth shorter.

As far as the insertion of the addresses against the heathen nations in Jer 29 is concerned, the Greek order is certainly not more original than is the Hebrew. It rather tears apart, awkwardly, what is united in Jer 25, and has probably been caused by a misunderstanding. The words of 25:13 were regarded as a hint that here the discourses against the heathen were to follow. Then, too, the order of these discourses in the Greek text is less natural than the one in Hebrew. In regard to the readings of the text, it has been thought that the text of the Septuagint deserves the preference on account of its brevity, and that the Hebrew text had been increased by additions. However, in general, the Greek version is very free, and often is done without an understanding of the subject; and there are reasons to believe that the translator shortened the text, when he thought the style of Jeremiah too heavy. Then, too, where he met with repetitions, he probably would omit; or did so when he found trouble with the matter or the language. This does not deny that his translation in many places may be correct, and that additions may have been made to the Hebrew text.


Calvin, Praelectiones in Librum Prophetiae Jer et Thren, Geneva, 1653; Sebastian Schmidt, Commentarii in libr. prophet. Jeremiah, Argent, 1685. Modern commentary by Hitzig, Ewald, Graf, Nagelsbach, Keil; also Cheyne (Pulpit Comm.), Peake, Duhm, and von Orelli.

C. von Orelli






jer-e-mi’-as (Ieremias):

(1) Named among the sons of Baani as one of those who had married foreign wives (1 Esdras 9:34). In Ezr 10:33 we find, "Jeremai" among the sons of Hashum. In 1 Esdras it should come in 9:33 before Manasses.

(2) See JEREMIAH (general article).


jer-e-mi’-el (Latin Hieremihel, al. Jeremiel, "El hurls" or "El appoints"): the King James Version margin and the Revised Version (British and American) in 2 Esdras 4:36 for the King James Version "Uriel." He is here called the "archangel" who answers the questions raised by the souls of the righteous dead. He is perhaps identical with Ramiel of Apocrypha Baruch or Remiel of Eth Enoch.



(a) yeremoth and

(b) yeremowth,

(c) yerimowth, meaning unknown:

Of the following (1) has form (b), (5) the form (c), the rest (a).

(1) In 1Ch 7:8 (the King James Version "Jerimoth"), and

(2) In 1Ch 8:14, Benjamites. Compare JEROHAM, (2).

(3) In 1Ch 23:23, and (4) in 1Ch 25:22 =" Jerimoth," 24:30; heads of Levitical houses.

(5) A Naphtalite, one of David’s tribal princes (1Ch 27:19); the King James Version "Jerimoth."

(6) (7) (8) Men who had married foreign wives. In Ezr 10:26 (=" Hieremoth," 1 Esdras 9:27); Ezr 10:27 (=" Jarimoth," 1 Esdras 9:28); Ezr 10:29 (=" Hieremoth," 1 Esdras 9:30); the Qere of the last is weramoth, "and Ramoth"; so the Revised Version margin, the King James Version.

David Francis Roberts



See JEREMIAH (general article).


jer’-e-mi, (Epistole Ieremiou):

1. Name

2. Canonicity and Position

3. Contents

4. Original Language

5. Authorship, Date and Aim

6. Text and Versions


1. Name:

In manuscripts Vaticanus and Alexandrinus the title is simply "An Epistle of Jeremiah." But in Codex Vaticanus, etc., there is a superscription introducing the letter: "Copy of a letter which Jeremiah sent to the captives about to be led to Babylon by (Peshitta adds Nebuchadnezzar) the king of the Babylonians, to make known to them what had been commanded him by God." What follows is a satirical exposure of the folly of idolatry, and not a letter. The idea of introducing this as a letter from Jeremiah was probably suggested by Jer 29:1 ff.

2. Canonicity and Position:

The early Greek Fathers were on the whole favorably disposed toward this tract, reckoning it to be a part of the Canon. It is therefore included in the lists of Canonical writings of Origen, Epiphanius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Athanasius, and it was so authoritatively recognized by the Council of Laodicea (360 AD).

In most Greek manuscripts of the Septuagint (Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus. March, Chisl, in the Syriac Hexateuch), it follows Lamentations as an independent piece, closing the supposed writings of Jeremiah. In the bestknown printed of the Septuagint (Tischendorf, Swete, etc.), the order is Jeremiah, Baruch, Lain, Epistle of Jeremy. In Fritzsche, Lib. Apocrypha VT Graece, Epistle Jeremiah stands between Baruch and Tobit. But in Latin manuscripts, including those of the Vulgate, it is appended to Baruch, of which it forms chapter 6, though it really has nothing to do with that book. This last is the case with Protestant editions (English versions of the Bible, etc.) of the Apocrypha, a more intelligible arrangement, since Jeremiah and Lamentations do not occur in the Apocrypha, and the Biblical Baruch was Jeremiah’s amanuensis.

3. Contents:

In the so-called letter (see 1, above) the author shows the absurdity and wickedness of heathen worship. The Jews, for their sins, will be removed to Babylon, where they will remain 7 generations. In that land they will be tempted to worship the gods o f the people. The writer’s aim is ostensibly to warn them beforehand by showing how helpless and useless the idols worshipped are, and how immoral as well as silly the rites of the Bah religion are. For similar polemics against idolatry, see Isa 44:9-19 (which in its earnestness resembles the Epistle Jeremiah closely); Jer 10:3-9; Ps 115:4-8; 135:15-18; The Wisdom of Solomon 13:10-19; 15:13-17.

4. Original Language:

That the Epistle Jeremiah was composed in Greek is the opinion of practically all scholars. There are no marks of translation; the Greek is on the whole good, and abounds in such rhetorical terms as characterized the Greek of Northern Egypt about the be ginning of our era. There is no trace of a Hebrew original, though Origen has been mistakenly understood to say there was one in his day (see Schurer, GJV4, III, 467 f). Romanist writers defend a Hebrew original, and point to some Hebraisms (verse 44 and the use of the fut. for the past), but these can be matched in admittedly Hellenistic Greek writings.

5. Authorship, Date and Aim:

The writer was almost certainly a resident in Alexandria toward the close of the last century BC. The Greek of the book, the references to Egyptian religion (verse 19, where the Feast of Lights at Sais—Herod. ii.62—is referred to), and the allusion to the Epistle Jeremiah in 2 Macc 2:2, denied by Schurer, etc., make the above conclusion very probable. The author had in mind the dangers to the religion of his fellow-countrymen presented by the fascinating forms of idolatry existing at Alexandria. Certainly Jeremiah is not the author, for the book was written in Greek and never formed part of the Hebrew Canon. Besides, the treatment is far below the level of the genuine writings of that prophet.

6. Text and Versions:

(1) The Greek.

This epistle occurs in the principal manuscripts of the Septuagint uncials (Codices Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Q, Gamma, contain 7b-24a, etc.) and cursives (except 70, 96, 229).

(2) The Syriac.

P follows the Greek, but very freely. The Syriac H follows the text of Codex Vaticanus closely, often at the expense of Syriac idioms.

(3) The Latin.

The Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) is made direct from the Greek. There is a different Latin version published by Sabatier in his Biblical Sacr. Latin Versiones Antiquas, II, 734 ff. It is freer than the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.)

(4) The Arabic.

There are also Arabic (following A), Coptic (ed Quatremere, 1810), and Ethiopic (ed Dillmann, 1894)versions.


See under APOCRYPHA for commentary and various editions. But note in addition to the literature mentioned the article the following: Reusch, Erklar. des B. Baruch, 1853; Daubanton, "Het Apok boek Epistole Ieremiou," Theol. Studien, 1888, 126-38.

T. Witton Davies


je-ri’-a (yeriyahu, "founded of Yahweh"): In 1Ch 23:19; 24:23 =" Jerijah" (yeriyah), 26:31, head of a Levitical house: called chief of the Hebronites in 24:23 (compare 24:30).


jer’-i-bi, jer-i-ba’-i (yeribhay, meaning uncertain): One of David’s mighty men of the armies (1Ch 11:46); one of the names not found in the list in 2Sa 23:24-29 a.


jer’-i-ko (the word occurs in two forms. In the Pentateuch, in 2Ki 25:5 and in Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles it is written yerecho; yericho, elsewhere): In 1Ki 16:34 the final Hebrew letter is he (h), instead of waw (w). The termination waw (w) thought to preserve the peculiarities of the old Canaanite. dialect. In the Septuagint we have the indeclinable form, Iericho (Swete has the form Iereicho as well), both with and without the feminine article; in the New Testament Iereicho, once with the feminine article The Arabic is er-Riha. According to De 32:49 it stood opposite Nebo, while in 34:3 it is called a city grove of palm trees. It was surrounded with a wall (Jos 2:15), and provided with a gate which was closed at night (Jos 2:5), an d was ruled over by a king. When captured, vessels of brass and iron, large quantities of silver and gold, and "a goodly Babylonish garment" were found in it (Jos 7:21). It was on the western side of the Jordan, not far from the camp of Israel at Shittim, before crossing the river (Jos 2:1). The city was on the "plains" (Jos 4:13), but so close to "the mountain" on the West (probably the cliffs of Quarantania, the traditional scene of Christ’s temptation) that it was within easy reach of the spies, protected by Rahab. It was in the lot of Benjamin (Jos 18:21), the border of which ascended to the "slope (English versions of the Bible "side") of Jeremiah on the North" (Jos 18:12). Authorities are generally agreed in locating the ancient city at Tel es-Sultan, a mile and a half Northwest of modern Jericho. Here there is a mound 1,200 ft. long and 50 ft. in height supporting 4 smaller mounds, the highest of which is 90 ft. above the base of the main mound.

The geological situation (see JORDAN VALLEY) sheds great light upon the capture of the city by Joshua (Jos 6). If the city was built as we suppose it to have been, upon the unconsolidated sedimentary deposits which accumulated to a great depth in the Jordan valley during the enlargement of the Dead Sea, which took place in Pleistocene (or glacial) times, the sudden falling of the walls becomes easily credible to anyone who believes in the personality of God and in His power either to foreknow the future or to direct at His will the secondary causes with which man has to deal in Nature. The narrative does not state that the blowing of the rams’ horns of themselves effected the falling of the walls. It was simply said that at a specified juncture on the 7th day the walls would fall, and that they actually fell at that juncture. The miracle may, therefore, be regarded as either that of prophecy, in which the Creator by foretelling the course of things to Joshua, secured the junction of Divine and human activities which constitutes a true miracle, or we may regard the movements which brought down the walls to be the result of direct Divine action, such as is exerted by man when be produces an explosion of dynamite at a particular time and place. The phenomena are just such as occurred in the earthquake of San Francisco in 1906, where, according to the report of the scientific commission appointed by the state, "the most violent destruction of buildings was on the made ground. This ground seems to have behaved during the earthquake very much in the same way as jelly in a bowl, or as a semi-liquid in a tank." Santa Rosa, situated on the valley floor, "underlain to a considerable depth by loose or slightly coherent geological formations, .... 20 miles from the rift, was the most severely shaken town in the state and suffered the greatest disaster relatively to its population and extent" (Report, 13 and 15). Thus an earthquake, such as is easily provided for along the margin of this great Jordan crevasse, would produce exactly the phenomena here described, and its occurrence at the time and place foretold to Joshua constitutes it a miracle of the first magnitude.

Notwithstanding the curse pronounced in Jos 6:26 the King James Version, prophesying that whosoever should rebuild the city "he shall lay the foundations thereof in his firstborn," it was rebuilt (1Ki 16:34) by Hiel the Bethelite in the days of Ahab. The curse was literally fulfilled. Still David’s messengers are said to have "tarried at Jericho" in his day (2Sa 10:5; 1Ch 19:5). In Elisha’s time (2Ki 2:5) there was a school of prophets there, while several other references to the city occur in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha (2Ch 28:15, where it is called "the city of palmtrees"; 2Ki 25:5; Jer 39:5; Ezr 2:34; Ne 3:2; 7:36; 1 Macc 9:50). Josephus describes it and the fertile plain surrounding it, in glowing terms. In the time of Christ, it was an important place yielding a large revenue to the royal family. But the city which Herod rebuilt was on a higher elevation, at the base of the western mountain, probably at Beit Jubr, where there are the ruins of a small fort. Jericho was the place of rendezvous for Galilean pilgrims desiring to avoid Samaria, both in going to and in departing from Jerusalem, and it has been visited at all times by thousands of pilgrims, who go down from Jerusalem to bathe in the Jordan. The road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho is still infested by robbers who hide in the rocky caverns adjoining it, and appear without warning from the tributary gorges of the wadies which dissect the mountain wall. At the present time Jericho and the region about is occupied only by a few hundred miserable inhabitants, deteriorated by the torrid climate which prevails at the low level about the head of the Dead Sea. But the present barrenness of the region is largely due to the destruction of the aqueducts which formerly distributed over the plain the waters brought down through the wadies which descend from the mountains of Judea. The ruins of many of these are silent witnesses of the cause of its decay. Twelve aqueducts at various levels formerly branched from the Wady Kelt, irrigating the plain both North and South. Remains of Roman masonry are found in these. In the Middle Ages they were so repaired that an abundance and variety of crops were raised, including wheat, barley, millet, figs, grapes and sugar cane.


George Frederick Wright


je’-ri-el, jer’-i-el (yeri’el, "founded of God"; compare JERIAH): A chief of Issachar (1Ch 7:2).


je-ri’-ja (1Ch 26:31).



jer’-i-moth (see JEREMOTH, (c)):

(1) A Benjamite (1Ch 7:7).

(2) A Benjamite who joined David at Ziklag, or perhaps a Judean (1Ch 12:5 (Hebrew 6)).

(3) In 1Ch 24:30 = JEREMOTH, (4) (which see).

(4) A Levite musician in David’s time (1Ch 25:4).

(5) Son of David and father of Mahalath, Rehoboam’s wife (2Ch 11:18). He is not mentioned (2Sa 3:2-5; 5:14-16; 1Ch 3:1-9; 14:4-7) among the sons of David’s wives, so Curtis (Ch, 369) thinks that he was either the son of a concubine, or possibly the name is a corruption of "Ithream" (yithre‘am, 1Ch 3:3).

(6) A Levite overseer in Hezekiah’s time (2Ch 31:13).

David Francis Roberts


jer’-i-oth, jer’-i-oth (yeri‘oth, "(tent-) curtains"): In 1Ch 2:18, where Massoretic Text is corrupt, Kittel in his commentary and in Biblical Hebrew reads "Caleb begat (children) of Azubah his wife, Jerioth." Wellhausen (De Gent. et Fam. Jud., 33) reads, "Caleb begat (children) of Azubah his wife, the daughter of Jerioth." According to English Versions of the Bible, Caleb had two wives, but the context does not bear this out. J. H. Michaelis regarded Jerioth as another name for Azubah. See Curtis, Commentary on Chronicles, 92.


jer-o-bo’-am (yarobh‘am; Septuagint Hieroboam, usually assumed to have been derived from riyb and ‘am, and signifying "the people contend," or, "he pleads the people’s cause"): The name was borne by two kings of Israel.

(1) Jeroboam I, son of Nebat, an Ephraimite, and of Zeruah, a widow (1Ki 11:26-40; 12-14:20). He was the first king of Israel after the disruption of the kingdom, and he reigned 22 years (937-915 BC).

I. Jeroboam I

1. Sources:

The history of Jeroboam is contained in 1Ki 11:26-40; 12:1-14:20; 2Ch 10:1-11:4; 11:14-16; 12:15; 13:3-20, and in an insertion in the Septuagint after 1Ki 12:24 (a-z). This insertion covers about the same ground as the Massoretic Text, and the Septuagint elsewhere, with some additions and variations. The fact that it calls Jeroboam’s mother a porne (harlot), and his wife the Egyptian princess Ano (compare 1Ki 11); that Jeroboam is punished by the death of his son before he has done any wrong; that the episode with the prophet’s mantle does not occur until the meeting at Shechem; that Jeroboam is not proclaimed king at all—all this proves the passage inferior to the Massoretic Text. No doubt it is a fragment of some historical work, which, after the manner of the later Midrash, has combined history and tradition, making rather free use of the historical kernel.

2. His Rise and Revolt:

Jeroboam, as a highly gifted and valorous young Ephraimite, comes to the notice of Solomon early in his reign (1Ki 11:28; compare 9:15,24). Having noticed his ability, the king made him overseer of the fortifications and public work at Jerusalem, and placed him over the levy from the house of Joseph. The fact that the latter term may stand for the whole of the ten tribes (compare Am 5:6; 6:6; Ob 1:18) indicates the importance of the position, which, however, he used to plot against the king. No doubt he had the support of the people in his designs. Prejudices of long standing (2Sa 19:40 f; 20 f) were augmented when Israelite interests were made subservient to Judah and to the king, while enforced labor and burdensome taxation filled the people’s hearts h bitterness and jealousy. Jeroboam, the son of a widow, would be the first to feel the gall of oppression and to give voice to the suffering of the people. In addition, he had the approval of the prophet Ahijah of the old sanctuary of Shiloh, who, by tearing his new mantle into twelve pieces and giving ten of them to Jeroboam, informed him that he was to become king of the ten tribes. Josephus says (Ant., VIII, vii, 8) that Jeroboam was elevated by the words of the prophet, "and being a young man of warm temper, and ambitious of greatness, he could not be quiet," but tried to get the government into his hands at once. For the time, the plot failed, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt where he was received and kindly treated by Shishak, the successor to the father-in-law of Solomon.

3. The Revolt of the Ten Tribes:

The genial and imposing personality of Solomon had been able to stem the tide of discontent excited by his oppressive regime, which at his death burst all restraints. Nevertheless, the northern tribes, at a popular assembly held at Shechem, solemnly promised to serve Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, who had already been proclaimed king at Jerusalem, on condition that he would lighten the burdens that so unjustly rested upon them. Instead of receiving the magna charta which they expected, the king, in a spirit of despotism, gave them a rough answer, and Josephus says "the people were struck by his words, as it were, by an iron hammer" (Ant., VIII, viii, 3). But despotism lost the day. The rough answer of the king was met by the Marseillaise of the people:

"What portion have we in David?

Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse:

To your tents. O Israel:

Now see to thine own house, David" (1Ki 12:16).

Seeing the turn affairs had taken, but still unwilling to make any concessions, Rehoboam sent Adoram, who had been over the levy for many years (1Ki 5:14; 12:18), and who no doubt had quelled dissatisfaction before, to force the people to submission, possibly by the very methods he had threatened to employ (1Ki 12:14). However, the attempt failed. The aged Adoram was stoned to death, while Rehoboam was obliged to flee ignominiously back to Jerusalem, king only of Judah (1Ki 12:20). Thus, the great work of David for a united kingdom was shattered by inferiors, who put personal ambitions above great ideals.

4. The Election:

As soon as Jeroboam heard that Solomon was dead, he returned from his forced exile in Egypt and took up his residence in his native town, Zeredah, in the hill country of Ephraim Septuagint 1Ki 12:20 ff). The northern tribes, having rejected the house of David, now turned to the leader, and perhaps instigator of the revolution. Jeroboam was sent for and raised to the throne by the choice and approval of the popular assembly. Divinely set apart for his task, and having the approval of the people, Jeroboam nevertheless failed to rise to the greatness of his opportunities, and his kingdom degenerated into a mere military monarchy, never stronger than the ruler who chanced to occupy the throne. In trying to avoid the Scylla that threatened its freedom and faith (1Ki 11:33), the nation steered into the Charybdis of revolution and anarchy in which it finally perished.

5. Political Events:

Immediately upon his accession, Jeroboam fortified Shechem, the largest city in Central Israel, and made it his capital. Later he fortified Penuel in the East Jordan country. According to 1Ki 14:17, Tirzah was the capital during the latter part of his reign. About Jeroboam’s external relations very little is known beyond the fact that there was war between him and Rehoboam constantly (1Ki 14:30). In 2Ch 13:2-20 we read of an inglorious war with Abijah of Judah. When Shishak invaded Judah (1Ki 14:25 f), he did not spare Israel, as appears from his inscription on the temple at Karnak, where a list of the towns captured by him is given. These belong to Northern Israel as well as to Judah, showing that Shishak exacted tribute there, even if he used violence only in Judah. The fact that Jeroboam successfully managed a revolution but failed to establish a dynasty shows that his strength lay in the power of his personality more than in the soundness of his principles.

6. His Religious Policy:

Despite the success of the revolution politically, Jeroboam descried in the halo surrounding the temple and its ritual a danger which threatened the permanency of his kingdom. He justifiably dreaded a reaction in favor of the house of David, should the people make repeated religious pilgrimages to Jerusalem after the first passion of the rebellion had spent itself. He therefore resolved to establish national sanctuaries in Israel. Accordingly, he fixed on Bethel, which from time immemorial was one of the chief sanctuaries of the land (Ge 28:19; 35:1; Ho 12:4), and Dan, also a holy place since the conquest, as the chief centers of worship for Israel. Jeroboam now made "two calves of gold" as symbols of the strength and creative power of Yahweh, and set them up in the sanctuaries at Bethel and Dan, where altars and other sacred objects already existed. It appears that many of the priests still in the land were opposed to his image-worship (2Ch 11:13 ). Accordingly, he found it necessary to institute a new, non-Levitical priesthood (1Ki 13:33). A new and popular festival on the model of the feasts at Jerusalem was also established. Jeroboam’s policy might have been considered as a clever political move, had it not contained the dangerous ppeal to the lower instincts of the masses, that led them into the immoralities of heathenism and hastened the destruction of the nation. Jeroboam sacrificed the higher interests of religion to politics. This was the "sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, wherewith he made Israel to sin" (1Ki 12:30; 16:26).

7. Hostility of the Prophets:

It may be that many of the prophets sanctioned Jeroboam’s religious policy. Whatever the attitude of the majority may have been, there was no doubt a party who strenuously opposed the image-worship.

(1) The Anonymous Prophet.

On the very day on which Jeroboam inaugurated the worship at the sanctuary at Bethel "a man of God out of Judah" appeared at Bethel and publicly denounced the service. The import of his message was that the royal altar should some day be desecrated by a ruler from the house of David. The prophet was saved from the wrath of the king only by a miracle. "The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar." This narrative of 1Ki 13 is usually assumed to belong to a later time, but whatever the date of compilation, the general historicity of the account is little affected by it.

(2) The Prophet Ahijah.

At a later date, when Jeroboam had realized his ambition, but not the ideal which the prophet had set before him, Ahijah predicted the consequences of his evil policy. Jeroboam’s eldest son had fallen sick. He thought of Ahijah, now old and blind, and sent the queen in disguise to learn the issue of the sickness. The prophet bade her to announce to Jeroboam that the house of Jeroboam should be extirpated root and branch; that the people whom he had seduced to idolatry should be uprooted from the land and transported beyond the river; and, severest of all, that her son should die.

8. His Death:

Jeroboam died, in the 22nd year of his reign, having "bequeathed to posterity the reputation of an apostate and a succession of endless revolutions."

S. K. Mosiman

(2) Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:23-29), son of Joash and 13th king of Israel; 4th sovereign of the dynasty of Jehu. He reigned 41 years. His accession may be placed circa 798 BC (some date lower).

II. Jeroboam II

1. His Warlike Policy:

Jeroboam came into power on the crest of the wave of prosperity that followed the crushing of the supremacy of Damascus by his father. By his great victory at Aphek, followed by others, Joash had regained the territory lost to Israel in the reigns of Jehu and Jehoahaz (2Ki 13:17,25). This satisfied Joash, or his death prevented further hostilities. Jeroboam, however, then a young man, resolved on a war of retaliation against Damascus, and on further conquests. The condition of the eastern world favored his projects, for Assyria was at the time engaged, under Shalmaneser III and Assurdan III, in a life-and-death struggle with Armenia. Syria being weakened, Jeroboam determined on a bold attempt to conquer and annex the whole kingdom of which Damascus was the capital. The steps of the campaign by which this was accomplished are unknown to us. The result only is recorded, that not only the intermediate territory fell into Jeroboam’s hands, but that Damascus itself was captured (2Ki 14:28). Hamath was taken, and thus were restored the eastern boundaries of the kingdom, as they were in the time of David (1Ch 13:5). From the time of Joshua "the entrance of Hamath" (Jos 13:5), a narrow pass leading into the valley of the Lebanons, had been the accepted northern boundary of the promised land. This involved the subjection of Moab and Ammon, probably already tributaries of Damascus.

2. New Social Conditions:

Jeroboam’s long reign of over 40 years gave time for the collected tribute of this greatly increased territory to flow into the coffers of Samaria, and the exactions would be ruthlessly enforced. The prophet Amos, a contemporary of Jeroboam in his later years, dwells on the cruelties inflicted on the trans-Jordanic tribes by Hazael, who "threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron" (Am 1:3). All this would be remembered now, and wealth to which the Northern Kingdom had been unaccustomed flowed in to its treasuries. The hovels of unburned brick in which the citizens had lived were replaced by "houses of hewn stone" (Am 5:11). The ivory house which Ahab built in Samaria (1Ki 22:39; decorations only are meant) was imitated, and there were many "great houses" (Am 3:15). The sovereign had both a winter and a summer palace. The description of a banqueting scene within one of these palatial abodes is lifelike in its portraiture. The guests stretched themselves upon the silken cushions of the couches, eating the flesh of lambs and stall-fed calves, drinking wine from huge bowls, singing idle songs to the sound of viols, themselves perfumed and anointed with oil (Am 6:4-6). Meanwhile, they were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, and cared nothing for the wrongdoing of which the country was full. Side by side with this luxury, the poor of the land were in the utmost distress. A case in which a man was sold into slavery for the price of a pair of shoes seems to have come to the prophet’s knowledge, and is twice referred to by him (Am 2:6; 8:6).

3. Growth of Ceremonial Worship:

With all this, and as part of the social organization, religion of a kind flourished. Ritual took the place of righteousness; and in a memorable passage, Amos denounces the substitution of the one for the other (Am 5:21 ). The worship took place in the sanctuaries of the golden calves, where the votaries prostrated themselves before the altar clothed in garments taken in cruel pledge, and drank sacrificial wine bought with the money of those who were fined for non-attendance there (Am 2:8). There we are subsidiary temples and altars at Gilgal and Beersheba (Am 4:4; 5:5; 8:14). Both of these places had associations with the early history of the nation, and would be attended by worshippers from Judah as well as from Israel.

4. Mission to Amos:

Toward the close of his reign, it would appear that Jeroboam had determined upon adding greater splendor and dignity to the central shrine, in correspondence with the increased wealth of the nation. Amos, about the same time, received a commission to go to Bethel and testify against the whole proceedings there. He was to pronounce that these sanctuaries should be laid waste, and that Yahweh would raise the sword against the house of Jeroboam. (Am 7:9). On hearing his denunciation, made probably as he stood beside the altar, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a messenger to the king at Samaria, to tell him of the "conspiracy" of Amos, and that the land was not able to bear all his words. The messenger bore the report that Amos had declared "Jeroboam shall die by the sword," which Amos had not done. When the messenger had gone, priest and prophet had a heated controversy, and new threatenings were uttered (Am 7:10-17).

5. Prophecy of Jonah:

The large extension of territory acquired for Israel by Jeroboam is declared to have been the realization of a prophecy uttered earlier by Jonah, the son of Amittai (2Ki 14:25)—the same whose mission to Nineveh forms the subject of the Book of Jonah (1:1). It is also indicated that the relief which had now come was the only alternative to the utter extinction of Israel. But Yahweh sent Israel a "saviour" (2Ki 13:5), associated by some with the Assyrian king Ramman-nirari III, who crushed Damascus, an left Syria an easy prey, first to Jehoash, then to Jeroboam. (see JEHOASH), but whom the historian seems to connect with Jeroboam himself (2Ki 14:26,27).

Jeroboam was succeeded on his death by his weak son Zechariah (2Ki 14:29).

W. Shaw Caldecott


je-ro’-ham (yerocham, "may he be compassionate!"):

(1) An Ephraimite, the father of Elkanah, and grandfather of Samuel (1Sa 1:1; 1Ch 6:27,34 (Hebrew 12,19)): Jerahmeel is the name in Septuagint, Codex Vaticanus, in 1 Samuel and in Septuagint, L and manuscripts, in 1 Chronicles.

(2) A Benjamite (1Ch 8:27), apparently = JEREMOTH, (2) (compare 8:14), and probably the same as he of 1Ch 9:8.

(3) Ancestor of a priest in Jerusalem (1Ch 9:12 = Ne 11:12).

(4) A man of Gedor, father of two of David’s Benjamite recruits at Ziklag, though Gedor might be a town in Southern Judah (1Ch 12:7 (Hebrew 8)).

(5) Father of Azarel, David’s tribal chief over Da (1Ch 27:22).

(6) Father of Azariah, one of the captains who supported Jehoiada in overthrowing Queen Athaliah (2Ch 23:1).

David Francis Roberts


jer-u-ba’-al, je-rub’-a-al (yerubba‘al, "let Baal contend"): The name given to Gideon by his father, Joash, and the people in recognition of his destruction of the altar of Baal at Ophrah (Jud 6:32). For this name the form "Jerubbesheth" (2Sa 1:21) was substituted after the analogy of "Ishbosheth" and "Mephibosheth," in which bosheth, the Hebrew word for "shame," displaced the word ba‘al, no doubt because the name resembled one given in honor of Baal.



jer-ub-be’-sheth, je-rub’-e-sheth (yerubbesheth, see JERUBBAAL, for meaning): It is found once (2Sa 11:21) for JERUBBAAL.

The word bosheth, "shameful thing," was substituted by later editors of the text for ba‘al, "lord," in the text of Jer 3:24; Ho 9:10; in 2Sa 2:8, etc., we find Ish-bosheth = Eshbaal (Ishbaal) in 1Ch 8:33; 9:39. The reason for this was reluctant to pronounce the word Ba‘al, which had by their time been associated with Canaanitic forms of worship. In 2Sa 11:21 Septuagint, Lucian, has "Jeroboal," which Septuagint, Codex Vaticanus, has corrupted to "Jeroboam." Compare MERIB-BAAL; MEPHIBOSHETH; and see Ginsburg, New Massoretico-Critical Text of the Hebrew Bible, Intro, 400 ff. For a New Testament case compare Ro 11:4 and see Sanday and Headlam at the place.


David Francis Roberts


je-roo’-el, jer’-oo-el (yeru’el, "founded by El"): Jahaziel prophesied that King Jehoshaphat should meet the hordes of Moabites and Ammonites, after they had come up by the "ascent of Ziz," "at the end of the valley (i.e. wady), before the wilderness of Jeruel" (2Ch 20:16). The particular part of the wilderness intended, is unknown. Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica) thinks this may be an error for the Jezreel of Judah, mentioned in Jos 15:56, etc.





1. In Cuneiform

2. In Hebrew

3. In Greek and Latin

4. The Meaning of Jerusalem

5. Other Names


1. Geology

2. Climate and Rainfall

3. The Natural Springs


1. The Mountains Around

2. The Valleys

3. The Hills


1. Description of Josephus

2. Summary of the Names of the Five Hills

3. The Akra

4. The Lower City

5. City of David and Zion


1. Robinson

2. Wilson, and the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865)

3. Warren and Conder

4. Maudslay

5. Schick

6. Clermont-Ganneau

7. Bliss and Dickie

8. Jerusalem Archaeological Societies


1. The Existing Walls

2. Wilson’s Theory

3. The Existing Gates

4. Buried Remains of Earlier Walls

5. The Great Dam of the Tyropoeon

6. Ruins of Ancient Gates

7. Josephus’ Description of the Walls

8. First Wall

9. Second Wall

10. Third Wall

11. Date of Second Wall

12. Nehemiah’s Account of the Walls

13. Valley Gate

14. Dung Gate

15. Fountain Gate

16. Water Gate

17. Horse Gate

18. Sheep Gate

19. Fish Gate

20. The "Old Gate"

21. Gate of Ephraim

22. Tower of the Furnaces

23. The Gate of Benjamin

24. Upper Gate of the Temple

25. The Earlier Walls


1. Gihon: The Natural Spring

2. The Aqueduct of the Canaanites

3. Warren’s Shaft

4. Hezekiah’s "Siloam" Aqueduct

5. Other Aqueducts at Gihon

6. Bir Eyyub

7. Varieties of Cisterns

8. Birket Israel

9. Pool of Bethesda

10. The Twin Pools

11. Birket Chammam el BaTrak

12. Birket Mamilla

13. Birket es Sultan

14. "Solomon’s Pools"

15. Low-Level Aqueduct

16. High-Level Aqueduct

17. Dates of Construction of these Aqueducts


1. "The Tombs of the Kings"

2. "Herod’s Tomb"

3. "Absalom’s Tomb"

4. The "Egyptian Tomb"

5. The "Garden Tomb"

6. Tomb of "Simon the Just"

7. Other Antiquities

8. Ecclesiastical Sites


1. Tell el-Amarna Correspondence

2. Joshua’s Conquest

3. Site of the Jebusite City

4. David

5. Expansion of the City

6. Solomon

7. Solomon’s City Wall

8. The Disruption (933 BC)

9. Invasion of Shishak (928 BC)

10. City Plundered by Arabs

11. Hazael King of Syria Bought Off (797 BC)

12. Capture of the City by Jehoash of Israel

13. Uzziah’s Refortification (779-740 BC)

14. Ahaz Allies with Assyria (736-728 BC)

15. Hezekiah’s Great Works

16. Hezekiah’s Religious Reforms

17. Manasseh’s Alliance with Assyria

18. His Repair of the Walls

19. Josiah and Religious Reforms (640-609 BC)

20. Jeremiah Prophesies the Approaching Doom

21. Nebuchadnezzar Twice Takes Jerusalem (586 BC)

22. Cyrus and the First Return (538 BC)

23. Nehemiah Rebuilds the Walls

24. Bagohi Governor

25. Alexander the Great

26. The Ptolemaic Rule

27. Antiochus the Great

28. Hellenization of the City under Antiochus Epiphanes

29. Capture of the City (170 BC)

30. Capture of 168 BC

31. Attempted Suppression of Judaism

32. The Maccabean Rebellion

33. The Dedication of the Temple (165 BC)

34. Defeat of Judas and Capture of the City

35. Judas’ Death (161 BC)

36. Jonathan’s Restorations

37. Surrender of City to Antiochus Sidetes (134 BC)

38. Hasmonean Buildings

39. Rome’s Intervention

40. Pompey Takes the City by Storm

41. Julius Caesar Appoints Antipater Procurator (47 BC)

42. Parthian Invasion

43. Reign of Herod the Great (37-4 BC)

44. Herod’s Great Buildings

45. Herod Archelaus (4 BC-6 AD)

46. Pontius Pilate

47. King Agrippa

48. Rising against Florus and Defeat of Gallus

49. The City Besieged by Titus (70 AD)

50. Party Divisions within the Besieged Walls

51. Capture and Utter Destruction of the City

52. Rebellion of Bar-Cochba

53. Hadrian Builds Ella Capitolina

54. Constantine Builds the Church of the Anastasis

55. The Empress Eudoxia Rebuilds the Walls

56. Justinian

57. Chosroes II Captures the City

58. Heracleus Enters It in Triumph

59. Clemency of Omar

60. The Seljuk Turks and Their Cruelties

61. Crusaders Capture the City in 1099

62. The Kharizimians

63. Ottoman Turks Obtain the City (1517 AD)


1. Jews and "Zionism"

2. Christian Buildings and Institutions


1. In Cuneiform:

The earliest mention of Jerusalem is in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (1450 BC), where it appears in the form Uru-sa-lim; allied with this we have Ur-sa-li-immu on the Assyrian monuments of the 8th century BC.

The most ancient Biblical form is yerushalem, shortened in Ps 76:2 (compare Ge 14:18) to Salem, but in Massoretic Text we have it vocalized yerushalaim. In Jer 26:18; Es 2:6; 2Ch 25:1; 32:9 we have yerushalayim, a form which occurs on the Jewish coins of the Revolt and also in Jewish literature; it is commonly used by modern Talmudic Jews.

2. In Hebrew:

The form Hebrew with the ending -aim or -ayim is interpreted by some as being a dual, referring to the upper and lower Jerusalem, but such forms occur in other names as implying special solemnity; such a pronunciation is both local and late.

3. In Greek and Latin:

In the Septuagint we get (Ierousalem), constantly reflecting the earliest and the common Hebrew pronunciation, the initial letter being probably unaspirated; soon, however, we meet with (Hierousalem)—with the aspirate—the common form in Josep hus, and (Hierosoluma) in Macc (Books II through IV), and in Strabo. This last form has been carried over into the Latin writers, Cicero, Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius. It was replaced in official use for some centuries by Hadrian’s Aelia Capitolina, which occurs as late as Jerome, but it again comes into common use in the documents of the Crusades, while Solyma occurs at various periods as a poetic abbreviation.

In the New Testament we have (Hierousalem), particularly in the writings of Luke and Paul, and (ta Hierosoluma) elsewhere. The King James Version of 1611 has Ierosalem in the Old Testament and Hierusalem in the New Testament. The form Jerusalem first occurs in French writings of the 12th century.

4. The Meaning of Jerusalem:

With regard to the meaning of the original name there is no concurrence of opinion. The oldest known form, Uru-sa-lim, has been considered by many to mean either the "City of Peace" or the "City of (the god) Salem," but other interpreters, considering the name as of Hebrew origin, interpret it as the "possession of peace" or "foundation of peace." It is one of the ironies of history that a city which in all its long history has seen so little peace and for whose possession such rivers of blood have been shed should have such a possible meaning for its name.

5. Other Names:

Other names for the city occur. For the name Jebus see JESUS. In Isa 29:1, occurs the name ‘ari’el probably "the hearth of God," and in 1:26 the "city of righteousness." In Ps 72:16; Jer 32:24 f; Eze 7:23, we have the term ha‘ir, "the city" in contrast to "the land." A whole group of names is connected with the idea of the sanctity of the site; ‘ir ha-qodhesh, the "holy city" occurs in Isa 48:2; 52:1; Ne 11:1, and yerushalayim ha-qedhoshah, "Jerusalem the holy" is inscribed on Simon’s coins. In Mt 4:5; 27:53 we have he hagia polis, "the holy city," and in Philo, Hieropolis, with the same meaning.

In Arabic the common name is Beit el Maqdis, "the holy house," or el Muqaddas, "the holy," or the common name, used by the Moslems everywhere today, el Quds, a shortened form of el Quds esh Sheref, "the noble sanctuary."

Non-Moslems usually use the Arabic form Yerusalem.

II. Geology, Climate, and Springs.

1. Geology:

The geology of the site and environs of Jerusalem is comparatively simple, when studied in connection with that of the land of Palestine as a whole (see GEOLOGY OF PALESTINE). The outstanding feature is that the rocks consist entirely of various forms of limestone, with strata containing flints; there are no primary rocks, no sandstone (such as comes to the surface on the East of the Jordan) and no volcanic rocks. The lime stone formations are in regular strata dipping toward the Southeast, with an angle of about 10 degrees.

On the high hills overlooking Jerusalem on the East, Southeast and Southwest there still remain strata of considerable thickness of those chalky limestones of the post-Tertiary period which crown so many hilltops of Palestine, and once covered the whole land. On the "Mount of Olives," for example, occurs a layer of conglomerate limestone known as Nari, or "firestone," and another thicker deposit, known as Ka‘kuli, of which two distinct strata can be distinguished. In these layers, especially the latter, occur pockets containing marl or haur, and in both there are bands of flint.

Over the actual city’s site all this has been denuded long ages ago. Here we have three layers of limestone of varying density very clearly distinguished by all the native builders and masons:

(1) Mizzeh helu, literally, "sweet mizzeh," a hard, reddish-grey layer capable of polish, and reaching in places to a depth of 70 ft. or more. The "holy rock" in the temple-area belongs to this layer, and much of the ancient building stone was of this nature.

(2) Below this is the Melekeh or "royal" layer, which, though not very thick—35 ft. or so—has been of great importance in the history of the city. This rock is peculiar in that when first exposed to the air it is often so soft that it can be cut with a knife, but under the influence of the atmosphere it hardens to make a stone of considerable durability, useful for ordinary buildings. The great importance of this layer, however, lies in the fact that in it have been excavated the hundreds of caverns, cisterns, tombs and aqueducts which honeycomb the city’s site.

(3) Under the Melekeh is a Cenomanian limestone of great durability, known as Mizzeh Yehudeh, or "Jewish mizzeh." It is a highly valued building stone, though hard to work. Geologically it is distinguished from Mizzeh helu by its containing ammonites. Characteristically, it is a yellowish-grey stone, sometimes slightly reddish. A variety of a distinctly reddish appearance, known as Mizzeh ahmar, or "red mizzeh," makes a very ornamental stone for columns, tombstones, etc.; it takes a high polish and is sometimes locally known as "marble."

This deep layer, which underlies the whole city, comes to the surface in the Kidron valley, and its impermeability is probably the explanation of the appearance there of the one true spring, the "Virgin’s Fount." The water over the site and environs of Jerusalem percolates with ease the upper layer, but is conducted to the surface by this hard layer; the comparatively superficial source of the water of this spring accounts for the poorness of its quality.

2. Climate and Rainfall:

The broad features of the climate of Jerusalem have probably remained the same throughout history, although there is plenty of evidence that there have been cycles of greater and lesser abundance of rain. The almost countless cisterns belonging to all ages upon the site and the long and complicated conduits for bringing water from a distance, testify that over the greater part of history the rainfall must have been, as at present, only seasonal.

As a whole, the climate of Jerusalem may be considered healthy. The common diseases should be largely preventable—under an enlightened government; even the malaria which is so prevalent is to a large extent an importation from the low-lying country, and could be stopped at once, were efficient means taken for destroying the carriers of infection, the abundant Anopheles mosquitoes. On account of its altitude and its exposed position, almost upon the watershed, wind, rain and cold are all more excessive than in the maritime plains or the Jordan valley. Although the winter’s cold is severely felt, on account of its coinciding with the days of heaviest rainfall (compare Ezr 10:9), and also because of the dwellings and clothes of the inhabitants being suited for enduring heat more than cold, the actual lowest cold recorded is only 25 degrees F., and frost occurs only on perhaps a dozen nights in an average year. During the rainless summer months the mean temperature rises steadily until August, when it reaches 73,1 degrees F., but the days of greatest heat, with temperature over 100 degrees F. in the shade at times, occur commonly in September. In midsummer the cool northwest breezes, which generally blow during the afternoons and early night, do much to make life healthy. The most unpleasant days occur in May and from the middle of September until the end of October, when the dry southeast winds—the sirocco—blow hot and stifling from over the deserts, carrying with them at times fine dust sufficient in quantity to produce a marked haze in the atmosphere. At such times all vegetation droops, and most human beings, especially residents not brought up under such conditions, suffer more or less from depression and physical discomfort; malarial, "sandfly," and other fevers are apt to be peculiarly prevalent. "At that time shall it be said .... to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow, nor to cleanse" (Jer 4:11).

During the late summer—except at spells of sirocco—heavy "dews" occur at night, and at the end of September or beginning of October the "former" rains fall—not uncommonly in tropical downpours accompanied by thunder. After this there is frequently a dry spell of several weeks, and then the winter’s rain falls in December, January and February. In some seasons an abundant rainfall in March gives peculiar satisfaction to the inhabitants by filling up the cisterns late in the season and by producing an abundant harvest. The average rainfall is about 26 inches, the maximum recorded in the city being 42,95 inches in the season 1877-78, and the minimum being 12,5 inches in 1869-70. An abundant rainfall is not only important for storage, for replenishment of the springs and for the crops, but as the city’s sewage largely accumulates in the very primitive drains all through the dry season, it requires a considerable force of water to remove it. Snow falls heavily in some seasons, causing considerable destruction to the badly built roofs and to the trees; in the winter of 1910-11 a fall of 9 inches occurred.

3. The Natural Springs:

There is only one actual spring in the Jerusalem area, and even to this some authorities would deny the name of true spring on account of the comparatively shallow source of its origin; this is the intermittent spring known today as ‘Ain Umm edition deraj (literally, "spring of the mother of the steps"), called by the native Christians ‘Ain Sitti Miriam (the "spring of the Lady Mary"), and by Europeans commonly called "The Virgin’s Fount." All the archaeological evidence points to this as the original source of attraction of earliest occupants of the site; in the Old Testament this spring is known as GIHON (which see). The water arises in the actual bottom, though apparent west side, of the Kidron valley some 300 yards due South of the south wall of the Charam. The approach to the spring is down two flights of steps, an upper of 16 leading to a small level platform, covered by a modern arch, and a lower, narrower flight of 14 steps, which ends at the mouth of a small cave. The water has its actual source in a long cleft (perhaps 16 ft. long) running East and West in the rocky bottom of the Kidron valley, now many feet below the present surface. The western or higher end of the cleft is at the very entrance of the cave, but most of the water gushes forth from the lower and wider part which lies underneath the steps. When the water is scanty, the women of Siloam creep down into the cavity under the steps and fill their water-skins there; at such times no water at all finds its way into the cave. At the far end of the cave is the opening of that system of ancient tunnel-aqueducts which is described in VI, below. This spring is "intermittent," the water rising rapidly and gushing forth with considerable force, several times in the 24 hours after the rainy season, and only once or twice in the dry. This "intermittent" condition of springs is not uncommon in Palestine, and is explained by the accumulation of the underground water in certain cavities or cracks in the rock, which together make up a reservoir which empties itself by siphon action. Where the accumulated water reaches the bend of the siphon, the overflow commences and continues to run until the reservoir is emptied. Such a phenomenon is naturally attributed to supernatural agency by the ignorant—in this case, among the modern fellahin, to a dragon—and natives, specially Jews, visit the source, even today, at times of its overflow, for healing. Whether this intermittent condition of the fountain is very ancient it is impossible to say, but, as Jerome (Comm. in Esa, 86) speaks of it, it was probably present in New Testament times, and if so we have a strong argument for finding here the "Pool of Bethesda."


In ancient times all the water flowed down the open, rocky valley, but at an early period a wall was constructed to bank up the water and convert the source into a pool. Without such an arrangement no water could find its way into the cave and the tunnels. The tunnels, described below (VI), were constructed for the purpose

(1) of reaching the water supply from within the city walls, and

(2) of preventing the enemies of the Jews from getting at the water (2Ch 32:4).

The water of this source, though used for all purposes by the people of Siloam, is brackish to the taste, and contains a considerable percentage of sewage; it is quite unfit for drinking. This condition is doubtless due to the wide distribution of sewage, both intentionally (for irrigation of the gardens) and unintentionally (through leaking sewers, etc.), over the soil overlying the rocks from which the water flows. In earlier times the water was certainly purer, and it is probable, too, that the fountain was more copious, as now hundreds of cisterns imprison the waters which once found their way through the soil to the deep sources of the spring.

The waters of the Virgin’s Fount find their way through the Siloam tunnel and out at ‘Ain Silwan (the "spring" of Siloam), into the Pool of Siloam, and from this source descend into the Kidron valley to water the numerous vegetable gardens belonging to the village of Siloam (see SILOAM).

The second source of water in Jerusalem is the deep well known as Bir Eyyub, "Job’s well," which is situated a little below the point where the Kidron valley and Hinnom meet. In all probability it derives its modern name from a legend in the Koran (Sura 38 5,40-41) which narrates that God commanded Job to stamp with his foot, whereupon a spring miraculously burst up. The well, which had been quite lost sight of, was rediscovered by the Crusaders in 1184 AD, and was by them cleaned out. It is 125 ft. deep. The supply of water in this well is practically inexhaustible, although the quality is no better than that of the "Virgin’s Fount"; after several days of heavy rain the water overflows underground and bursts out a few yards lower down the valley as a little stream. It continues to run for a few days after a heavy fall of rain is over, and this "flowing Kidron" is a great source of attraction to the native residents of Jerusalem, who pour forth from the city to enjoy the rare sight of running water. Somewhere in the neighborhood of Bir Eyyub must have lain ‘En-Rogel, but if that were once an actual spring, its source is now buried under the great mass of rubbish accumulated here (see EN-ROGEL).

Nearly 600 yards South of Bir Eyyub is a small gravelly basin where, when the Bir Eyyub overflows, a small spring called ‘Ain el Lozeh (the "spring of the almond") bursts forth. It is not a true spring, but is due to some of the water of Job’s well which finds its way along an ancient rock-cut aqueduct on the west side of the Wady en Nar, bursting up here.

The only other possible site of a spring in the Jerusalem area is the Chammam esh Shefa, "the bath of healing." This is an underground rock-basin in the Tyropeon valley, within the city walls, in which water collects by percolation through the debris of the city. Though once a reservoir with probably rock-cut channels conducting water to it, it is now a deep well with arches erected over it at various periods, as the rubbish of the city gradually accumulated through the centuries. There is no evidence whatever of there being any natural fountain, and the water is, in the dry season, practically pure sewage, though used in a neighboring Turkish bath.

G.A. Smith thinks that the JACKAL’S WELL (which see) mentioned by Nehemiah (2:13), which must have been situated in the Valley of Hinnom, may possibly have been a temporary spring arising there for a few years in consequence of an earthquake, but it is extremely likely that any well sunk then would tap water flowing a long the bed of the valley. There is no such "spring" or "well" there today.

III. The Natural Site.

Modern Jerusalem occupies a situation defined geographically as 31 degrees 46 feet 45 inches North latitude., by 35 degrees 13 feet 25 inches East longitude. It lies in the midst of a bare and rocky plateau, the environs being one of the most stony and least fruitful districts in the habitable parts of Palestine, with shallow, gray or reddish soil and many outcrops of bare limestone. Like all the hill slopes with a southeasterly aspect, it is so thoroughly exposed to the full blaze of the summer sun that in its natural condition the site would be more or less barren. Today, however, as a result of diligent cultivation and frequent watering, a considerable growth of trees and shrubs has been produced in the rapidly extending suburbs. The only fruit tree which reaches perfection around Jerusalem is the olive.

1. The Mountains Around:

The site of Jerusalem is shut in by a rough triangle of higher mountain ridges: to the West runs the main ridge, or water parting, of Judea, which here makes a sweep to the westward. From this ridge a spur runs Southeast and East, culminating due East of the city in the MOUNT OF OLIVES (which see), nearly 2,700 ft. above sea-level and about 300 ft. above the mean level of the ancient city. Another spur, known as Jebel Deir abu Tor, 2,550 ft. high, runs East from the plateau of el Buqei‘a and lies Southwest of the city; it is the traditional "Hill of Evil Counsel." The city site is thus dominated on all sides by these higher ranges—"the mountains (that) are round about Jerus" (Ps 125:2)—so that while on the one hand the ancient city was hidden, at any considerable distance, from any direction except the Southeast, it is only through this open gap toward the desert and the mountains of Moab that any wide outlook is obtainable. This strange vision of wilderness and distant mountain wall—often of exquisite loveliness in the light of the setting sun—must all through the ages have been the most familiar and the most potent of scenic influences to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

2. The Valleys:

Within the enfolding hills the city’s proper site is demarked by two main valleys. That on the West and Southwest commences in a hollow occupied by the Moslem cemetery around the pool Birket Mamilla. The valley runs due East toward the modern Jaffa Gate, and there bends South, being known in this upper part of its course as the Wady el Mes. In this southern course it is traversed by a great dam, along which the modern Bethlehem road runs, which converts a large area of the valley bed into a great pool, the Birket es Sultan. Below this the valley—under the name of Wady er Rabadi—bends Southeast, then East, and finally Southeast again, until near Bir Eyyub it joins the western valley to form the Wady en Nar, 670 ft. below its origin. This valley has been very generally identified as the Valley of Hinnom (see HINNOM, VALLEY OF.)

The eastern valley takes a wider sweep. Commencing high up in the plateau to the North of the city, near the great water-parting, it descends as a wide and open valley in a southeasterly direction until, where it is crossed by the Great North Road, being here known as Wady el Joz (the "Valley of the Walnuts"), it turns more directly East. It gradually curves to the South, and as it runs East of the city walls, it receives the name of Wady Sitti Miriam (the "Valley of the Lady Mary"). Below the Southeast corner of the temple-area, near the traditional "Tomb of Absalom," the valley rapidly deepens and takes a direction slightly to the West of South. It passes the "Virgin’s Fount," and a quarter of a mile lower it is joined by el Wad from the North, and a little farther on by the Wady er Rababi from the West. South of Bir Eyyub, the valley formed by their union is continued under the name of Wady en Nar to the Dead Sea. This western valley is that commonly known as the Brook Kidron, or, more shortly, the "Brook" (hachal), or ravine (see KIDRON), but named from the 5th century onward by Christians the Valley of Jehoshaphat (see JEHOSHAPHAT, VALLEY OF). The rocky tongue of land enclosed between these deep ravines, an area, roughly speaking, a little over one mile long by half a mile wide, is further subdivided into a number of distinct hills by some shallower valleys. The most prominent of these—indeed the only one noticeable to the superficial observer today—is the great central valley known to modern times by the single name el Wad, "the valley." It commences in a slight depression of the ground a little North of the modern "Damascus Gate," and after entering the city at this gate it rapidly deepens—a fact largely disguised today by the great accumulation of rubbish in its course. It traverses the city with the Charam to its east, and the Christian and Moslem quarters on rapidly rising ground to its west. Its course is observed near the Babylonian es Silseleh, where it is crossed by an ancient causeway, but farther South the valley reappears, having the walls of the Charam (near the "wailing place" and "Robinson’s arch") on the East, and steep cliffs crossed by houses of the Jewish quarter on the West. It leaves the city at the "Dung Gate," and passes with an open curve to the East, until it reaches the Pool of Siloam, below’ which it merges in the Wady Sitti Miriam. This is the course of the main valley, but a branch of great importance in the ancient topography of the city starts some 50 yards to the West of the modern Jaffa Gate and runs down the Suwaikat Allun generally known to travelers as "David’s Street," and thus easterly, along the Tarik bab es Silseleh, until it merges in the main valley. The main valley is usually considered to be the Tyropeon, or "Cheesemongers’ Valley" of Josephus, but some writers have attempted to confine the name especially to this western arm of it.

Another interior valley, which is known rather by the rock contours, than by surface observations, being largely filled up today, cuts diagonally across the Northeast corner of the modern city. It has no modern name, though it is sometimes called "St. Anne’s Valley." It arises in the plateau near "Herod’s Gate," known as es Sahra, and entering the city about 100 yards to the East of that gate, runs South-Southeast., and leaves the city between the Northeast angle of the Charam and the Golden Gate, joining the Kidron valley farther Southeast. The Birket Israel runs across the width of this valley, which had far more influence in determining the ancient topography of the city than has been popularly recognized. There is an artificially made valley between the Charam and the buildings to its north, and there is thought by many to be a valley between the Southeast hill, commonly called "Ophel" and the temple-area. Such, then, are the valleys, great and small, by which the historic hills on which the city stood are defined. All of them, particularly in their southern parts, were considerably deeper in ancient times, and in places the accumulated debris is 80 ft. or more. All of them were originally torrent beds, dry except immediately after heavy rain. The only perennial outflow of water is the scanty and intermittent stream which overflows from the Pool of Siloam, and is used to irrigate the gardens in the Wady Sitti Miriam.

3. The Hills:

The East and West valleys isolate a roughly quadrilateral tongue of land running from Northwest-West to South-Southeast, and tilted so as to face Southeast. This tongue is further subdivided by el Wad into two long ridges, which merge into each other in the plateau to the North. The western ridge has its actual origin considerably North of the modern wall, being part of the high ground lying between the modern Jaffa road to the West, and the commencement of the Kidron valley to the East. Within the city walls it rises as high as 2,581 ft. near the northwestern corner. It is divided by the west branch of the Tyropeon valley into two parts: a northern part—the northwestern hill—on which is situated today the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the greater part of the "Christian quarter" of the city, and a southern hill—the southwestern—which is connected with the northwestern hill by but a narrow saddle—50 yards wide—near the Jaffa Gate. This hill sustains the citadel (the so-called "Tower of David"), the barracks and the Armenian quarter within the walls, and the Coenaculum and adjacent buildings outside the walls. This hill is from 2,500 to 2,350 ft. high along its summit, but drops rapidly on its southwestern, southern and southeastern sides. In its central part it falls much more gently toward the eastern hill across the now largely filled valley el Wad.

The eastern ridge may be reckoned as beginning at the rocky hill el-Edhemiyeh—popularly known as Gordon’s Calvary—but the wide trench made here by quarrying somewhat obscures this fact. The ridge may for convenience be regarded as presenting three parts, the northeastern, central or central-eastern, and southeastern summits. The northeastern hill within the modern wall supports the Moslem quarter, and rises in places to a height of over 2,500 ft.; it narrows to a mere neck near the "Ecce Homo" arch, where it is joined to the barracks, on the site of the ancient Antonia. Under the present surface it is here separated from the temple summit by a deep rocky trench.

The central, or central-eastern, summit is that appearing as es Sakhra, the sacred temple rock, which is 2,404 ft. high. This is the highest point from which the ground rapidly falls East, West, and South, but the natural contours of the adjacent ground are much obscured by the great substructures which have been made to sustain the temple platform.

The sloping, southeastern, hill, South of the temple area appears today, at any rate, to have a steady fall of from 2,350 ft. just South of the Charam southern wall to a little over 2,100 ft. near the Pool of Siloam. It is a narrow ridge running in a somewhat curved direction, with a summit near 200 ft. above the Kidron and 100 ft. above the bed of the Tyropeon. In length it is not more than 600 yards, in width, at its widest, only 150 yards, but its chief feature, its natural strength, is today greatly obscured on account of the rubbish which slopes down its sides and largely fills up its surrounding valleys. In earlier times, at least three of its sides were protected by deep valleys, and probably on quite two-thirds of its circumference its summit was surrounded by natural rocky scarps. According to Professor Guthe, this hill is divided from the higher ground to the North by a depression 12 ft. deep and 30-50 yards wide, but this has not been confirmed by other observers. The city covering so hilly a site as this must ever have consisted, as it does today, of houses terraced on steep slopes’ with stairways for streets.


IV. General Topography of Jerusalem.

From the foregoing description of the "natural site," it will be seen that we have to deal with 5 natural subdivisions or hills, two on the western and three on the eastern ridges.

1. Description of Josephus:

In discussing the topography it is useful to commence with the description of Josephus, wherein he gives to these 5 areas the names common in his day (BJ, V, iv, 1,2). He says: "The city was built upon two hills which are opposite to one another and have a valley to divide them asunder .... Now the Valley of the Cheesemongers, as it was called, and was that which distinguished the hill of the upper city from that of the lower, extended as far as Siloam" (ibid., V, iv, 1). Here we get the first prominent physical feature, the bisection of the city-site into two main hills. Farther on, however, in the same passage—one, it must be admitted, of some obscurity—Josephus distinguishes 5 distinct regions:

(1) The Upper City or Upper Market Place:

(The hill) "which sustains the upper city is much higher and in length more direct. Accordingly, it was called the citadel (phrourion) of King David .... but it is by us called the Upper Market Place." This is without dispute the southwestern hill.

(2) Akra and Lower City:

"The other hill, which was called Akra, and sustains the lower city, was double-curved" (amphikurtos). The description can apply only to the semicircular shape of the southeastern hill, as viewed from the "upper city." These names, "Akra" and "Lower City," are, with reservations, therefore, to be applied to the southeastern hill.

(3) The Temple Hill:

Josephus’ description here is curious, on account of its indefiniteness, but there can be no question as to which hill he intends. He writes: "Over against this is a third hill, but naturally lower than the Akra and parted formerly from the other by a fiat valley. However, in those times when the Hasmoneans reigned, they did away with this valley, wishing to connect the city with the temple; and cutting down the summit of the Akra, they made it lower, so that the temple might be visible over it." Comparison with other passages shows that this "third hill" is the central-eastern—the "Temple Hill."

(4) Bezetha:

"It was Agrippa who encompassed the parts added to the old city with this wall (i.e. the third wall) which had been all naked before; for as the city grew more populous, it gradually crept beyond its old limits, and those parts of it that stood northward of the Temple, and joined that hill to the city, made it considerably larger, and occasioned that hill which is in number the fourth, and is called ‘Bezetha,’ to be inhabited also. It lies over against the tower Antonia, but is divided from it by a deep valley, which was dug on purpose. .... This new-built part of the city was called ‘Bezetha’ in our language, which, if interpreted in the Greek language, may be called the ‘New City.’ " This is clearly the northeastern hill.

(5) The Northern Quarter of the City:

From the account of the walls given by Josephus, it is evident that the northern part of his "first wall" ran along the northern edge of the southwestern hill; the second wall enclosed the inhabited part of the northwestern hill. Thus Josephus writes: "The second wall took its beginning from the gate which they called Gennath in the first wall, and enclosing, the northern quarter only reached to the Antonia." This area is not described as a separate hill, as the inhabited area, except on the South, was defined by no natural valleys, and besides covering the northwestern hill, must have extended into the Tyropeon valley.

2. Summary of the Names of the Five Hills:

Here then we have Josephus’ names for these five districts:

(1) Southwestern Hill:

Southwestern Hill, "Upper City" and "Upper Market Place"; also the Summary Phrourion, or "fortress of David." From the 4th century AD, this hill has also been known as "Zion," and on it today is the so-called "Tower of David," built on the foundations of two of Herod’s great towers.

(2) Northwestern Hill:

"The northern quarter of the city." This district does not appear to have had any other name in Old Testament or New Testament, though some of the older authorities would place the "Akra" here (see infra). Today it is the "Christian quarter" of Jerusalem, which centers round the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

(3) Northeastern Hill:

"Bezetha" or "New City," even now a somewhat sparsely inhabited area, has no name in Biblical literature.

(4) Central-eastern Hill:

The "third hill" of Josephus, clearly the site of the Temple which, as Josephus says (BJ, V, v), "was built upon a strong hill." In earlier times it was the "threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite." On the question whether it has any claims to be the Moriah of Ge 22:2, as it is called in 2Ch 3:1, see MORIAH. The temple hill is also in many of the Hebrew writings called Zion, on which point see ZION.

(5) Southeastern Hill:

This Josephus calls "Akra" and "Lower City," but while on the one hand these names require some elucidation, there are other names which have at one period or another come to be applied to this hill, namely, "City of David," "Zion" and "Ophel." These names for this hill we shall now deal with in order.

3. The Akra:

In spite of the very definite description of Josephus, there has been considerable difference of opinion regarding the situation of the "Akra." Various parts of the northwestern, the northeastern, the southeastern hills, and even the central-eastern itself, have been suggested by earlier authorities, but instead of considering the various arguments, now largely out of date, for other proposed sites, it will be better to deal with the positive arguments for the southeastern hill. Josephus states that in his day the term "Akra" was applied to the southeastern hill, but in references to the earlier history it is clear that the Akra was not a whole hill, but a definite fortress (akra =" fortress").

(1) It was situated on the site, or on part of the site, which was considered in the days of the Maccabees to have been the "City of David." Antiochus Epiphanes (168 BC), after destroying Jerusalem, "fortitled the city of David with a great and strong wall, with strong towers and it became unto them an Akra" (1 Macc 1:33-36). The formidable fortress—known henceforth as "the Akra"—became a constant menace to the Jews, until at length, in 142 BC, it was captured by Simon, who not only razed the whole fortress, but, according to Josephus (Ant., XIII, vi, 7; B J, V, iv, 1), actually cut down the hill on which it stood. He says that "they all, labouring zealously, demolished the hill, and ceasing not from the work night and day for three whole years, brought it to a level and even slope, so that the Temple became the highest of all after the Akra and the hill upon which it was built had been removed" (Ant., XIII, vi, 7). The fact that at the time of Josephus this hill was evidently lower than the temple hill is in itself sufficient argument against any theory which would place the Akra on the northwestern or southwestern hills.

(2) The Akra was close to the temple (1 Macc 13:52), and from its walls the garrison could actually overlook it (1 Macc 14:36). Before the hill was cut down it obscured the temple site (same place) .

(3) It is identified by Josephus as forming part, at least, of the lower city, which (see below) bordered upon the temple (compare BJ, I, i, 4; V, iv, 1; vi, 1).

(4) The Septuagint identifies the Akra with Millo (2Sa 5:9; 1Ki 9:15-24; 2Ch 32:5).

Allowing that the original Akra of the Syrians was on the southeastern hill, it is still a matter of some difficulty to determine whereabouts it stood, especially as, if the statements of Josephus are correct, the natural configuration of the ground has been greatly altered. The most prominent point upon the southeastern hill, in the neighborhood of Gihon, appears to have been occupied by the Jebusite fortress of ZION (which see), but the site of the Akra can hardly be identical with this, for this became the "City of David," and here were the venerated tombs of David and the Judean kings, which must have been destroyed if this hill was, as Josephus states, cut down. On this and other grounds we must look for a site farther north. Sir Charles Watson (PEFS, 1906, 1907) has produced strong topographical and literary arguments for placing it where the al Aqsa mosque is today; other writers are more inclined to put it farther south, somewhere in the neighborhood of the massive tower discovered by Warren on the "Ophel" wall (see MILLO). If the account of Josephus, written two centuries after the events, is to be taken as literal, then Watson’s view is the more probable.

4. The Lower City:

Josephus, as we have seen, identified the Akra of his day with the Lower City. This latter is not a name occurring in the Bible because, as will be shown, the Old Testament name for this part was "City of David." That by Lower City Josephus means the southeastern hill is shown by many facts. It is actually the lowest part of the city, as compared with the "Upper City," Temple Hill and the Bezetha; it is, as Josephus describes, separated from the Upper City by a deep valley—the Tyropeon; this southeastern hill is "double-curved," as Josephus describes, and lastly several passages in his writings show that the Lower City was associated with the Temple on the one end and the Pool of Siloam at the other (compare Ant, XIV, xvi, 2; BJ, II, xvii, 5; IV, ix, 12; VI, vi, 3; vii, 2).

In the wider sense the "Lower City" must have included, not only the section of the city covering the southeastern hill up to the temple precincts, where were the palaces (BJ, V, vi, 1; VI, vi, 3), and the homes of the well-to-do, but also that in the valley of the Tyropeon from Siloam up to the "Council House," which was near the northern "first wall" (compare BJ, V, iv, 2), a part doubtless inhabited by the poorest.

5. City of David and Zion:

It is clear (2Sa 5:7; 1Ch 11:5) that the citadel "Zion" of the Jebusites became the "City of David," or as G. A. Smith calls it, "David’s Burg," after its capture by the Hebrews. The arguments for placing "Zion" on the southeastern hill are given elsewhere (see ZION), but a few acts relevant especially to the "City of David" may be mentioned here: the capture of the Jebusite city by means of the gutter (2Sa 5:8), which is most reasonably explained as "Warren’s Shaft" (see VII); the references to David’s halt on his flight (2Sa 15:23), and his sending Solomon to Gihon to be crowned (1Ki 1:33), and the common expression "up," used in describing the transference of the Ark from the City of David to the Temple Hill (1Ki 8:1; 2Ch 5:2; compare 1Ki 9:24), are all consistent with this view. More convincing are the references to Hezekiah’s aqueduct which brought the waters of Gihon "down on the west side of the city of David" (2Ch 32:30); the mention of the City of David as adjacent to the Pool of Shelah (or Shiloah; compare Isa 8:6), and the "king’s garden" in Ne 3:15, and the position of the Fountain Gate in this passage and Ne 12:37; and the statement that Manasseh built "an outer wall to the City of David, on the west side of Gihon" in the nachal, i.e. the Kidron valley (2Ch 33:14).

The name appears to have had a wider significance as the city grew. Originally "City of David" was only the name of the Jebusite fort, but later it became equivalent to the whole southeastern hill. In the same way, Akra was originally the name of the Syrian fort, but the name became extended to the whole southeastern hill. Josephus looks upon "City of David" and "Akra" as synonymous, and applies to both the name "Lower City." For the names Ophel and Ophlas see OPHEL.

V. Excavations and Antiquities.

During the last hundred years explorations and excavations of a succession of engineers and archaeologists have furnished an enormous mass of observations for the understanding of the condition of ancient Jerusalem. Some of the more important are as follows: In 1833 Messrs. Bonorni, Catherwood and Arundale made a first thorough survey of the Charam (temple-area), a work which was the foundation of all subsequent maps for over a quarter of a century.

1. Robinson:

In 1838, and again in 1852, the famous American traveler and divine, E. Robinson, D.D., visited the land as the representative of an American society, and made a series of brilliant topographical investigations of profound importance to all students of the Holy Land, even today.

In 1849 Jerusalem was surveyed by Lieuts. Aldrich and Symonds of the Royal Engineers, and the data acquired were used for a map constructed by Van de Vilde and published by T. Tobler.

In 1857 an American, J.T. Barclay, published another map of Jerusalem and its environs "from actual and minute survey made on the spot."

In 1860-1863 De Vogue in the course of some elaborate researches in Syria explored the site of the sanctuary.

2. Wilson and the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865):

In 1864-65 a committee was formed in London to consider the sanitary condition of Jerusalem, especially with a view to furnishing the city with a satisfactory water-supply, and Lady Burdett-Coutts gave 500 pounds toward a proper survey of Jerusalem and its environs as a preliminary step. Captain (later Lieutenant-General Sir Charles) Wilson, R.E., was lent by the Ordnance Survey Department of Great Britain for the purpose. The results of this survey, and of certain tentative excavations and observations made at the same time, were so encouraging that in 1865 "The Palestine Exploration Fund" was constituted, "for the purpose of investigating the archaeology, geography, geology, and natural history of the Holy Land."

3. Warren and Conder:

During 1867-70 Captain (later Lieutenant-General Sir Charles) Warren, R.E., carried out a series of most exciting and original excavations all over the site of Jerusalem, especially around the Charam. During 1872-75 Lieutenant (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Conder, R.E., in the course of the great survey of Western Palestine, made further contributions to our knowledge of the Holy City.

4. Maudslay:

In 1875 Mr. Henry Maudslay, taking advantage of the occasion of the rebuilding of "Bishop Gobat’s Boys’ School," made a careful examination of the remarkable rock cuttings which are now more or less incorporated into the school buildings, and made considerable excavations, the results being described in PEFS (April, 1875).

In 1881 Professor Guthe made a series of important excavations on the southeastern hill, commonly called "Ophel," and also near the Pool of Siloam; his reports were published in ZDPV, 1882.

5. Schick:

The same year (1881), the famous Siloam inscription was discovered and was first reported by Herr Baurath Schick, a resident in Jerusalem who from 1866 until his death in 1901 made a long series of observations of the highest importance on the topography of Jerusalem. He had unique opportunities for scientifically examining the buildings in the Charam, and the results of his study of the details of that locality are incorporated in his wonderful Temple model. He also made a detailed report of the ancient aqueducts of the city. Most important of all were the records he so patiently and faithfully kept of the rock levels in all parts of the city’s site whenever the digging of foundations for buildings or other excavations gave access to the rock. His contributions to the PEF and ZDPV run into hundreds of articles.

6. Clermont-Ganneau:

M. Clermont-Ganneau, who was resident in Jerusalem in the French consular service, made for many years, from 1880 onward, a large number of acute observations on the archaeology of Jerusalem and its environs, many of which were published by the PEF. Another name honored in connection with the careful study of the topography of Jerusalem over somewhat the same period is that of Selah Merrill, D.D., for many years U.S. consul in Jerusalem.

7. Bliss and Dickie:

In 1894-97 the Palestine Exploration Fund conducted an elaborate series of excavations with a view to determining in particular the course of the ancient southern walls under the direction of Mr. T.J. Bliss (son of Daniel Bliss, D.D., then president of the Syrian Protestant College, Beirut), assisted by Mr. A.C. Dickie as architect. After picking up the buried foundations of walls at the southeastern corner where "Maudslay’s scarp" was exposed in the Protestant cemetery, Bliss and Dickie followed them all the way to the Pool of Siloam, across the Tyropeon and on to "Ophel"—and also in other directions. Discoveries of great interest were also made in the neighborhood of the Pool of Siloam (see SILOAM).

Following upon these excavations a number of private investigations have been made by the Augustinians in a large estate they have acquired on the East side of the traditional hill of Zion.

In 1909-1911 a party of Englishmen, under Captain the Honorable M. Parker, made a number of explorations with very elaborate tunnels upon the hill of Ophel, immediately above the Virgin’s Fount. In the course of their work, they cleaned out the whole Siloam aqueduct, finding some new passages; they reconstructed the Siloam Pool, and they completed Warren’s previous investigation in the neighborhood of what has been known as "Warren’s Shaft."

8. Jerusalem Archaeological Societies:

There are several societies constantly engaged in observing new facts connected with the topography of ancient Jerusalem, notably the School of Archaeology connected with the University of Stephens, under the Dominicans; the American School of Archaeology; the German School of Biblical Archaeology under Professor Dalman, and the Palestine Exploration Fund.

VI. The City’s Walls and Gates.

1. The Existing Walls:

Although the existing walls of Jerusalem go back in their present form to but the days of Suleiman the Magnificent, circa 1542 AD, their study is an essential preliminary to the understanding of the ancient walls. The total circuit of the modern walls is 4,326 yards, or nearly 2 1/8 miles, their average height is 35 ft., and they have altogether 35 towers and 8 gates—one of which is walled up. They make a rough square, with the four sides facing the cardinal points of the compass. The masonry is of various kinds, and on every side there are evidences that the present walls are a patchwork of many periods. The northern wall, from near the northwestern angle to some distance East of the "Damascus Gate," lies parallel with, though somewhat inside of, an ancient fosse, and it and the gate itself evidently follow ancient lines. The eastern and western walls, following as they do a general direction along the edges of deep valleys, must be more or less along the course of earlier walls. The eastern wall, from a little south of Stephen’s Gate to the southeastern angle, contains many ancient courses, and the general line is at least as old as the time of Herod the Great; the stretch of western wall from the so-called "Tower of David" to the southwestern corner is certainly along an ancient line and has persisted through very many centuries. This line of wall was allowed to remain undestroyed when Titus leveled the remainder. At the northwestern angle are some remains known as Kala‘at Jalud ("Goliath’s castle"), which, though largely medieval, contain a rocky core and some masonry of Herodian times, which are commonly accepted as the relics of the lofty tower Psephinus.

2. Wilson’s Theory:

The course of the southern wall has long been a difficulty; it is certainly not the line of wall before Titus; it has none of the natural advantages of the western and eastern walls, and there are no traces of any great rock fosse, such as is to be found on the north. The eastern end is largely built upon the lower courses of Herod’s southern wall for his enlarged temple-platform, and in it are still to be found walled up the triple, single and double gates which lead up to the Temple. The irregular line followed by the remainder of this wall has not until recent times received any explanation. Sir Charles Wilson (Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre) suggests the probable explanation that the line of wall from the southwestern to the "Zion Gate" was determined by the legionary camp which stood on the part of the city now covered by the barracks and the Armenian quarter. Allowing that the remains of the first wall on the North and West were utilized for this fortified camp (from 70-132 AD), and supposing the camp to have occupied the area of 50 acres, as was the case with various European Roman camps, whose remains are known, the southern camp wall would have run along the line of the existing southern walls. This line of fortification having been thus selected appears to have been followed through the greater part of the succeeding centuries down to modern times. The line connecting the two extremities of the southern wall, thus determined by the temple-platform and legionary camp, respectively, was probably that first followed by the southern wall of Hadrian’s city AElia.

3. The Existing Gate:

Of the 8 existing city gates, on the west side there is but one, Babylonian el Khulil (the "Gate of Hebron"), commonly known to travelers as the Jaffa Gate. It is probably the site of several earlier gates. On the North there are 3 gates, Babylonian Abd’ul Kamid (named after the sultan who made it) or the "New Gate"; Babylonian el ‘amud ("Gate of the Columns"), now commonly called the "Damascus Gate," but more in ancient times known as "St. Stephen’s Gate," and clearly, from the existing remains, the site of an earlier gateway; and, still farther east, the Babylonian es Sahirah ("Gate of the Plain"), or "Herod’s Gate." On the east side the only open gate is the Babylonian el ‘Asbat ("Gate of the Tribes"), commonly called by native Christians, Babylonian Sitti Miriam ("Gate of the Lady Mary"), but in European guide-books called "St. Stephen’s Gate." A little farther South, near the northeastern corner of the Charam, is the great walled-up Byzantine Gate, known as Babylonian edition Dahariyeh ("Gate of the Conqueror"), but to Europeans as the "Golden Gate." This structure has been variously ascribed to Justinian and Heraclius, but there are massive blocks which belong to a more ancient structure, and early Christian tradition places the "Beautiful Gate" of the Temple here. In the southern wall are two city gates; one, insignificant and mean, occupies the center of el Wad and is known as Babylonian el Mugharibeh ("Gate of the Moors"), and to Europeans as the "Dung Gate"; the other, which is on the crown of the western hill, traditional Zion, is the important Babylonian Nebi Daoud ("Gate of the Prophet David"), or the "Zion Gate."

All these gates assumed their present form at the time of the reconstruction of the walls by Suleiman the Magnificent, but the more important ones occupy the sites of earlier gates. Their names have varied very much even since the times of the Crusaders. The multiplicity of names for these various gates—they all have two or three today—and their frequent changes are worth noticing in connection with the fact that in the Old Testament history some of the gates appear to have had two or more names.

As has been mentioned, the course of the present southern wall is the result of Roman reconstruction of the city since the time of Titus. To Warren, Guthe, Maudslay and Bliss we owe a great deal of certain knowledge of its more ancient course. These explorers have shown that in all the pre-Roman period (and at least one period since) the continuation southward of the western and eastern ridges, as well as the wide valley between—an area now but sparsely inhabited—was the site of at once the most crowded life, and the most stirring scenes in the Hebrew history of the city. The sanctity of the Holy Sepulchre has caused the city life to center itself more and more around that sanctuary, thereby greatly confusing the ancient topography for many centuries.

4. Buried Remains of Earlier Walls:

(1) Warren’s excavations revealed: (a) a massive masonry wall 46 ft. East of the Golden Gate, which curved toward the West at its northern end, following the ancient rock contours at this spot. It is probable that this was the eastern wall of the city in pre-Herodian times. Unfortunately the existence of a large Moslem cemetery outside the eastern wall of the Charam precludes the possibility of any more excavations in this neighborhood. (b) More important remains in the southeastern hill, commonly known as "Ophel." Here commencing at the southeastern angle of the Charam, Warren uncovered a wall 14 1/2 ft. thick running South for 90 ft. and then Southwest along the edge of the hill for 700 ft. This wall, which shows at least two periods of construction, abuts on the sanctuary wall with a straight joint. Along its course were found 4 small towers with a projection of 6 ft. and a face from 22 to 28 ft. broad, and a great corner tower projecting 41 1/2 ft. from the wall and with a face 80 ft. broad. The face of this great tower consists of stones one to two ft. high and 2 or 3 ft. long; it is founded upon rock and stands to the height of 66 ft. Warren considers that this may be ha-mighdal ha-yotse’ or "tower that standeth out" of Ne 3:25.

(2) In 1881 Professor Guthe picked up fragmentary traces of this city-wall farther south, and in the excavations of Captain Parker (1910-1911) further fragments of massive walls and a very ancient gate have been found.

(3) Maudslay’s excavations were on the southwestern hill, on the site occupied by "Bishop Gobat’s School" for boys, and in the adjoining Anglo-German cemetery. The school is built over a great mass of scarped rock 45 ft. square, which rises to a height of 20 ft. from a platform which surrounds it and with which it is connected by a rock-cut stairway; upon this massive foundation must have stood a great tower at what was in ancient times the southwestern corner of the city. From this point a scarp facing westward was traced for 100 ft. northward toward the modern southwestern angle of the walls, while a rock scarp, in places 40 ft. high on the outer or southern side and at least 14 ft. on the inner face, was followed for 250 ft. eastward until it reached another great rock projection with a face of 43 ft. Although no stones were found in situ, it is evident that such great rock cuttings must have supported a wall and tower of extraordinary strength, and hundreds of massive squared stones belonging to this wall are now incorporated in neighboring buildings.

(4) Bliss and Dickie’s work commenced at the southeastern extremity of Maudslay’s scarp, where was the above-mentioned massive projection for a tower, and here were found several courses of masonry still in situ. This tower appears to have been the point of divergence of two distinct lines of wall, one of which ran in a direction Northeast, skirting the edge of the southeastern hill, and probably joined the line of the modern walls at the ruined masonry tower known as Burj el Kebrit, and another running Southeast down toward the Pool of Siloam, along the edge of the Wady er Rababi (Hinnom). The former of these walls cannot be very ancient, because of the occurrence of late Byzantine moldings in its foundations. The coenaculum was included in the city somewhere about 435-450 AD (see IX, 55), and also in the 14th century. Bliss considers it probable that this is the wall built in 1239 By Frederick II, and it is certainly that depicted in the map of Marino Sanuto (1321 AD). Although these masonry remains are thus comparatively late, there were some reasons for thinking that at a much earlier date a wall took a similar direction along the edge of the southwestern hill; and it is an attractive theory, though unsupported by any very definite archaeological evidence, that the wall of Solomon took also this general line. The wall running Southeast from the tower, along the edge of the gorge of Hinnom, is historically of much greater importance. Bliss’s investigations showed that here were remains belonging to several periods, covering altogether considerably over a millennium. The upper line of wall was of fine masonry, with stones 1 ft. by 3 ft. in size, beautifully jointed and finely dressed; in some places this wall was founded upon the remains of the lower wall, in others a layer of debris intervened. It is impossible that this upper wall can be pre-Roman, and Bliss ascribes it to the Empress Eudoxia (see IX, 55). The lower wall rested upon the rock and showed at least 3 periods of construction. In the earliest the stones had broad margins and were carefully jointed, without mortar. This may have been the work of Solomon or one of the early kings of Judah. The later remains are evidently of the nature of repairs, and include the work of the later Judean kings, and of Nehemiah and of all the wall-repairers, down to the destruction in 70 AD. At somewhat irregular intervals along the wall were towers of very similar projection and breadth to those found on Warren’s wall on the southeastern hill. The wall foundations were traced—except for an interval where they passed under a Jewish cemetery—all the way to the mouth of the Tyropeon valley. The upper wall disappeared (the stones having been all removed for later buildings) before the Jewish cemetery was reached.

5. The Great Dam of the Tyropeon:

During most periods, if not indeed in all, the wall was carried across the mouth of the Tyropeon valley upon a great dam of which the massive foundations still exist under the ground, some 50 ft. to the East of the slighter dam which today supports the Birket el Kamra (see SILOAM). This ancient dam evidently once supported a pool in the mouth of the Tyropeon, and it showed evidences of having undergone buttressing and other changes and repairs. Although it is clear that during the greater part of Jewish history, before and after the captivity, the southern wall of Jerusalem crossed upon this dam, there were remains of walls found which tended to show that at one period, at any rate, the wall circled round the two Siloam pools, leaving them outside the fortifications.

6. Ruins of Ancient Gates:

In the stretch of wall from "Maudslay’s Scarp" to the Tyropeon valley remains of 2 city gates were found, and doubtful indications of 2 others. The ruins of the first of these gates are now included in the new extension of the Anglo-German cemetery. The gate had door sills, with sockets, of 4 periods superimposed upon each other; the width of the entrance was 8 ft. 10 inches during the earliest, and 8 ft. at the latest period. The character of the masonry tended to show that the gate belonged to the upper wall, which is apparently entirely of the Christian era. If this is so, this cannot be the "Gate of the Gai" of Ne 3:13, although the earlier gate may have occupied this site. Bliss suggests as a probable position for this gate an interval between the two contiguous towers IV and V, a little farther to the East.

Another gate was a small one, 4 ft. 10 inches wide, marked only by the cuttings in the rock for the door sockets. It lay a little to the West of the city gate next to be described, and both from its position and its insignificance, it does not appear to have been an entrance to the city; it may, as Bliss suggests, have given access to a tower, now destroyed.

The second great city gateway was found some 200 ft. South of the Birket el Kamra, close to the southeastern angle of the ancient wall. The existing remains are bonded into walls of the earlier period, but the three superimposed door sills, with their sockets—to be seen uncovered today in situ—mark three distinct periods of long duration. The gate gave access to the great main street running down the Tyropeon, underneath which ran a great rock-cut drain, which probably traversed the whole central valley of the city. During the last two periods of the gate’s use, a tower was erected—at the exact southeastern angle—to protect the entrance. The earliest remains here probably belong to the Jewish kings, and it is very probable that we have here the gate called by Ne (3:13) the "Dung Gate." Bliss considered that it might be the "Fountain Gate" (Ne 3:15), which, however, was probably more to the East, although Bliss could find no remains of it surviving. The repairs and alterations here have been so extensive that its disappearance is in no way surprising. The Fountain Gate is almost certainly identical with the "Gate between the Two Walls," through which Zedekiah and his men of war fled (2Ki 25:4; Jer 39:4; 52:7).

7. Josephus’ Description of the Walls:

The most definite account of the old walls is that of Josephus (Jewish Wars, V, iv, 1, 2), and though it referred primarily to the existing walls of his day, it is a convenient one for commencing the historical survey. He describes three walls. The first wall "began on the North, at the tower called Hippicus, and extended as far as the Xistus, and then Joining at the Council House, ended at the western cloister of the temple." On the course of this section of the wall there is no dispute. The tower Hippicus was close to the present Jaffa Gate, and the wall ran from here almost due West to the temple-area along the southern edge of the western arm of the Tyropeon (see III, 2, above). It is probable that the Karet edition Dawayeh, a street running nearly parallel with the neighboring "David Street," but high up above it, lies above the foundations of this wall.

8. First Wall:

It must have crossed the main Tyropeon near the Tarik bab es Silsilel, and joined the western cloisters close to where the Mechkemeh, the present "Council House," is situated.

Josephus traces the southern course of the first wall thus: "It began at the same place (i.e. Hippicus), and extended through a place called Bethso to the gate of the Essenes; and after that it went southward, having its bending above the fountain Siloam, when it also bends again toward the East at Solomon’s Pool, and reaches as far as a certain place which they called ‘Ophlas,’ where it was joined to the eastern cloister of the temple." Although the main course of this wall has now been followed with pick and shovel, several points are still uncertain. Bethso is not known, but must have been close to the southwestern angle, which, as we have seen, was situated where "Bishop Gobat’s School" is today. It is very probably identical with the "Tower of the Furnaces" of Ne 3:11, while the "Gate of the Essenes" must have been near, if not identical with, the "Gate of the Gai" of 3:13. The description of Josephus certainly seems to imply that the mouth of the Siloam aqueduct ("fountain of Siloam") and the pools were both outside the fortification. We have seen from these indications in the underground remains that this was the case at one period. Solomon’s Pool is very probably represented by the modern Birket el Khamra. It is clear that the wall from here to the southeastern angle of the temple-platform followed the edge of the southeastern hill, and coincided farther north with the old wall excavated by Warren. As will be shown below, this first wall was the main fortification of the city from the time of the kings of Judah onward. In the time of Josephus, this first wall had 60 towers.

9. Second Wall:

The Second Wall of Josephus "took its beginning from that gate which they called ‘Gennath,’ which belonged to the first wall: it only encompassed the northern quarter of the city and reached as far as the tower Antonia" (same place). In no part of Jerusalem topography has there been more disagreement than upon this wall, both as regards its curve and as regards its date of origin. Unfortunately, we have no idea at all where the "Gate Gennath" was. The Tower Antonia we know. The line must have passed in a curved or zigzag direction from some unknown point on the first wall, i.e. between the Jaffa Gate and the Charam to the Antonia. A considerable number of authorities in the past and a few careful students today would identify the general course of this wall with that of the modern northern wall. The greatest objections to this view are that no really satisfactory alternative course has been laid down for the third wall (see below), and that it must have run far North of the Antonia, a course which does not seem to agree with the description of Josephus, which states that the wall "went up" to the Antonia. On the other hand, no certain remains of any city wall within the present north wall have ever been found; fragments have been reported by various observers (e.g. the piece referred to as forming the eastern wall of the so-called "Pool of Hezekiah"; see VII, ii, below), but in an area so frequently desolated and rebuilt upon—where the demand for squared stones must always have been great—it is probable that the traces, if surviving at all, are very scanty. This is the case with the south wall excavated by Bliss (see VI), and that neighborhood has for many centuries been unbuilt upon. It is quite probable that the area included within the second wall may have been quite small, merely the buildings which clustered along the sides of the Tyropeon. Its 40 towers may have been small and built close together, because the position was, from the military aspect, weak. It must be remembered that it was the unsatisfactory state of the second wall which necessitated a third wall. There is no absolute reason why it may not have excluded the greater part of the northwestern hill—and with it the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—but there is no proof that it did. The date of the second wall is unknown (see below).

10. Third Wall:

This third wall, which was commenced after the time of Christ by Herod Agrippa I, is described in more detail by Josephus. It was begun upon an elaborate plan, but was not finished in its original design because Agrippa feared Claudius Caesar, "lest he should suspect that so strong a wall was built in order to make some innovation in public affairs" (Jewish Wars, V, iv, 2). It, however, at the time of the siege, was of a breadth of over 18 ft., and a height of 40 ft., and had 90 massive towers. Josephus describes it as beginning at the tower Hippicus (near the Jaffa Gate), "where it reached as far as the north quarter of the city, and the tower Psephinus." This mighty tower, 135 ft. high, was at the northwestern corner and overlooked the whole city. From it, according to Josephus (Jewish Wars, V, vi, 3), there was a view of Arabia (Moab) at sunrising, and also of "the utmost limits of the Hebrew possessions at the Sea westward." From this corner the wall turned eastward until it came over against the monuments of Helene of Adiabene, a statement, however, which must be read in connection with another passage (Ant., XX, iv, 3), where it says that this tomb "was distant no more than 3 furlongs from the city of Jerusalem." The wall then "extended to a very great length" and passed by the sepulchral caverns of the kings—which may well be the so-called "Solomon’s Quarries," and it then bent at the "Tower of the Corner," at a monument which is called the Monument of the Fuller (not identified), and joined to the old wall at the Kidron valley.

The commonly accepted theory is that a great part of this line of wall is that pursued by the modern north wall, and Kal‘at el Jalud, or rather the foundation of it, that marks the site of Psephinus. The Damascus Gate is certainly on the line of some earlier gate. The "Tower of the Corner" was probably about where the modern Herod’s Gate is, or a little more to the East, and the course of the wall was from here very probably along the southern edge of the "St. Anne’s Valley," joining on to the Northeast corner of the Charam a little South of the present Stephen’s Gate. This course of the wall fits in well with the description of Josephus. If the so-called "Tombs of the Kings" are really those of Queen Helena of Adiabene and her family, then the distance given as 3 furlongs is not as far out as the distance to the modern wall; the distance is actually 3 1/2 furlongs.

Others, following the learned Dr. Robinson, find it impossible to believe that the total circuit of the walls was so small, and would carry the third wall considerably farther north, making the general line of the modern north wall coincide with the second wall of Josephus. The supporters of this view point to the description of the extensive view from Psephinus, and contend that this presupposed a site on still higher ground, e.g. where the present Russian buildings now are. They also claim that the statement that the wall came "over against" the monument of Queen Helena certainly should mean very much nearer that monument than the present walls. Dr. Robinson and others who have followed him have pointed to various fragments which they claim to have been pieces of the missing wall. The present writer, after very many years’ residence in Jerusalem, watching the buildings which in the last 25 years have sprung up over the area across which this line of wall is claimed to have run, has never seen a trace of wall foundations or of fosse which was in the very least convincing; while on the other hand this area now being rapidly covered by the modern suburb of Jerusalem presents almost everywhere below the surface virgin rock. There is no evidence of any more buildings than occasional scattered Roman villas, with mosaic floors. The present writer has rather unwillingly come to the opinion that the city walls were never farther north than the line they follow today. With respect to the objection raised that there could not possibly have been room enough between the two walls for the "Camp of the Assyrians," where Titus pitched his camp (Jewish Wars, V, vii, 3), any probable line for the second wall would leave a mean of 1,000 ft. between the two walls, and in several directions considerably more. The probable position of the "Camp of the Assyrians" would, according to this view, be in the high ground (the northwestern hill) now occupied by the Christian quarter of the modern city. The question of what the population of Jerusalem was at this period is discussed in IX, 49, below. For the other great buildings of the city at this period, see also IX, 43-44, below.

11. Date of Second Wall:

Taking then the walls of Jerusalem as described by Josephus, we may work backward and see how the walls ran in earlier periods. The third wall does not concern us any more, as it was built after the Crucifixion. With respect to the second wall, there is a great deal of difference of opinion regarding its origin. Some consider, like Sir Charles Watson, that it does not go back earlier than the Hasmoneans; whereas others (e.g. G.A. Smith), because of the expression in 2Ch 32:5 that Hezekiah, after repairing the wall, raised "another wall without," think that this wall goes back as far as this monarch. The evidence is inconclusive, but the most probable view seems to be that the "first wall," as described by Josephus, was the only circuit of wall from the kings of Judah down to the 2nd century BC, and perhaps later.

12. Nehemiah’s Account of the Walls:

The most complete Scriptural description we have of the walls and gates of Jerusalem is that given by Nehemiah. His account is valuable, not only as a record of what he did, but of what had been the state of the walls before the exile. It is perfectly clear that considerable traces of the old walls and gates remained, and that his one endeavor was to restore what had been before—even though it produced a city enclosure much larger than necessary at his time. The relevant passages are Ne 2:13-15, the account of his night ride; 3:1-32, the description of the rebuilding; and 12:31-39, the routes of the two processions at the dedication.

13. Valley Gate:

In the first account we learn that Nehemiah went out by night by the VALLEY GATE (which see), or Gate of the Gai, a gate (that is, opening) into the Gai Hinnom, and probably at or near the gate discovered by Bliss in what is now part of the Anglo-German cemetery; he passed from it to the Dung Gate, and from here viewed the walls of the city.

14. Dung Gate:

This, with considerable assurance, may be located at the ruined foundations of a gate discovered by Bliss at the southeastern corner of the city. The line of wall clearly followed the south edge of the southwestern hill from the Anglo-German cemetery to this point. He then proceeded to the Fountain Gate, the site of which has not been recovered, but, as there must have been water running out here (as today) from the mouth of the Siloam tunnel, is very appropriately named here.

15. Fountain Gate:

Near by was the KING’S POOL (which see), probably the pool—now deeply buried—which is today represented by the Birket el Kamra. Here Nehemiah apparently thought of turning into the city, "but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass" (2:14), so he went up by the Nachal (Kidron), viewed the walls from there, and then retraced his steps to the Valley Gate. There is another possibility, and that is that the King’s Pool was the pool (which certainly existed) at Gihon, in which case the Fountain Gate may also have been in that neighborhood.

All the archaeological evidence is in favor of the wall having crossed the mouth of the Tyropeon by the great dam at this time, and the propinquity of this structure to the Fountain Gate is seen in Ne 3:15, where we read that Shallum built the Fountain Gate "and covered it, and set up the doors thereof .... and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Shelah (see SILOAM) by the KING’S GARDEN (which see), even unto the stairs that go down from the city of David." All these localities were close together at the mouth of el Wad.

Passing from here we can follow the circuit of the city from the accounts of the rebuilding of the walls in Ne 3:15 f. The wall from here was carried "over against the sepulchres of David," which we know to have stood in the original "City of David" above Gihon, past "the pool that was made," and "the house of the Gibborim" (mighty men)—both unknown sites. It is clear that the wall is being carried along the edge of the southeastern hill toward the temple. We read of two angles in the wall—both needed by the geographical conditions—the high priest’s house, of "the tower that standeth out" (supposed to have been unearthed by Warren), and the wall of the OPHEL (which see).

16. Water Gate:

There is also mention of a Water Gate in this position, which is just where one would expect a road to lead from the temple-area down to Gihon. From the great number of companies engaged in building, it may be inferred that all along this stretch of wall from the Tyropeon to the temple, the destruction of the walls had been specially great.

17. Horse Gate:

Proceeding North, we come to the Horse Gate. This was close to the entry to the king’s house (2Ki 11:16; 2Ch 23:15; Jer 31:40). The expression used, "above" the Horse Gate, may imply that the gate itself may have been uninjured; it may have been a kind of rock-cut passage or tunnel. It cannot have been far from the present southeastern angle of the city. Thence "repaired the priests, every one over against his own house"—the houses of these people being to the East of the temple. Then comes the Gate of Hammiphkad (see HAMMIPHKAD, GATE OF), the ascent (or "upper chamber," margin) of the corner, and finally the SHEEP GATE (which see), which was repaired by the goldsmiths and merchants.

18. Sheep Gate:

This last gate was the point from which the circuit of the repairs was traced. The references, Ne 3:1,31; 12:39, clearly show that it was at the eastern extremity of the north wall.

The details of the gates and buildings in the north wall as described by Nehemiah, are difficult, and certainty is impossible; this side must always necessarily have been the weak side for defense because it was protected by no, or at best by very little, natural valley. As has been said, we cannot be certain whether Nehemiah is describing a wall which on its western two-thirds corresponded with the first or the second wall of Josephus. Taking the first theory as probable, we may plan it as follows: West of the Sheep Gate two towers are mentioned (Ne 3:1; 12:39). Of these HANANEL (which see) was more easterly than HAMMEAH (which see), and, too, it would appear from Zec 14:10 to have been the most northerly point of the city. Probably then two towers occupied the important hill where afterward stood the fortress Baris and, later, the Antonia. At the Hammeah tower the wall would descend into the Tyropeon to join the eastern extremity of the first wall where in the time of Josephus stood the Council House (BJ, V, iv, 2).

19. Fish Gate:

It is generally considered that the FISH GATE (which see) (Ne 3:3; 12:39; Ze 1:10; 2Ch 33:14) stood across the Tyropeon in much the same way as the modern Damascus Gate does now, only considerably farther South. It was probably so called because here the men of Tyre sold their fish (Ne 13:16). It is very probably identical with the "Middle Gate" of Jer 39:3. With this region are associated the MISHNEH (which see) or "second quarter" (Ze 1:10 margin) and the MAKTESH (which see) or "mortar" (Ze 1:11).

20. "Old Gate":

The next gate westward, after apparently a considerable interval, is translated in English Versions of the Bible the "OLD GATE" (which see), but is more correctly the "Gate of the old ...."; what the word thus qualified is, is doubtful. Ne 3:6 margin suggests "old city" or "old wall," whereas Mitchell (Wall of Jerusalem according to the Book of Neh) proposes "old pool," taking the pool in question to be the so-called "Pool of Hezekiah." According to the view here accepted, that the account of Nehemiah refers only to the first wall, the expression "old wall would be peculiarly suitable, as here must have been some part of that first wall which went back unaltered to the time of Solomon. The western wall to the extent of 400 cubits had been rebuilt after its destruction by Jehoash, king of Israel (see IX, 12, below), and Manasseh had repaired all the wall from Gihon round North and then West to the Fish Gate. This gate has also been identified with the Sha‘ar ha-Pinnah, or "Corner Gate," of 2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 25:23; Jer 31:38; Zec 14:10, and with the Sha‘ar ha-Ri’shon, or "First Gate," of Zec 14:10, which is identified as the same as the Corner Gate; indeed ri’shon ("first") is probably a textual error for yashan ("old"). If this is so, this "Gate of the Old" or "Corner Gate" must have stood near the northwestern corner of the city, somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate.

21. Gate of Ephraim:

The next gate mentioned is the Gate of Ephraim (Ne 12:39), which, according to 2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 25:23, was 400 cubits or 600 ft. from the Corner Gate. This must have been somewhere on the western wall; it is scarcely possible to believe, as some writers would suggest, that there could have been no single gate between the Corner Gate near the northwestern corner and the Valley Gate on the southern wall.

22. Tower of the Furnaces:

The "Broad Wall" appears to correspond to the southern stretch of the western wall as far as the "Tower of the Furnaces" or ovens, which was probably the extremely important corner tower now incorporated in "Bishop Gobat’s School." This circuit of the walls satisfies fairly well all the conditions; the difficulties are chiefly on the North and West. It is a problem how the Gate of Ephraim comes to be omitted in the account of the repairs, but G.A. Smith suggests that it may be indicated by the expression, "throne of the governor beyond the river" (Ne 3:7). See, however, Mitchell (loc. cit.). If theory be accepted that the second wall already existed, the Corner Gate and the Fish Gate will have to be placed farther north.

23. The Gate of Benjamin:

In Old Testament as in later times, some of the gates appear to have received different names at various times. Thus the Sheep Gate, at the northeastern angle, appears to be identical with the Gate of Benjamin or Upper Gate of Benjamin (Jer 20:2; 37:13; 38:7); the prophet was going, apparently, the nearest way to his home in Anathoth. In Zec 14:10 the breadth of the city is indicated, where the prophet writes, "She shall be lifted up, and shall dwell in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate."

24. Upper Gate of the Temple:

The Upper Gate of the Temple (2Ki 15:35; 2Ch 27:3; compare 2Ch 23:20; Eze 9:2) is probably another name for the same gate. It must be remembered the gates were, as excavations have shown us, reduced to a minimum in fortified sites: they were sources of weakness.

The general outline of the walls and gates thus followed is in the main that existing from Nehemiah back until the early Judean monarchy, and possibly to Solomon.

25. The Earlier Walls:

Of the various destructions and repairs which occurred during the time of the monarchy, a sufficient account is given in IX below, on the history. Solomon was probably the first to enclose the northwestern hill within the walls, and to him usually is ascribed all the northern and western stretch of the "First Wall"; whether his wall ran down to the mouth of the Tyropeon, or only skirted the summit of the northwestern hill is uncertain, but the latter view is probable. David was protected by the powerful fortifications of the Jebusites, which probably enclosed only the southeastern hill; he added to the defenses the fortress MILLO (which see). It is quite possible that the original Jebusite city had but one gate, on the North (2Sa 15:2), but the city must have overflowed its narrow limits during David’s reign and have needed an extended and powerful defense, such as Solomon made, to secure the capital. For the varied history and situation of the walls in the post-Biblical period, see IX ("History"), below.


VII. Antiquarian Remains Connected with the Water-Supply.

In a city like Jerusalem, where the problem of a water-supply must always have been one of the greatest, it is only natural that some of the most ancient and important works should have centered round it. The three sources of supply have been

(1) springs,

(2) cisterns,

(3) aqueducts.

1. Gihon: The Natural Spring:

(1) The natural springs have been described in II, 3; but connected with them, and especially with the city’s greatest and most venerated source, the Gihon, there are certain antiquarian remains of great interest.

(a) The "Virgin’s Fount," ancient Gihon, arises, as has been described (II, 3), in a rocky cleft in the Kidron valley bottom; under natural conditions the water would run along the valley bed, now deeply buried under debris of the ancient city, and doubtless when the earliest settlers made their dwellings in the caves (which have been excavated) on the sides of the valley near the spring, they and their flocks lived on the banks of a stream of running water in a sequestered valley among waterless hills. From, however, a comparatively early period—at the least 2000 BC—efforts were made to retain some of the water, and a solid stone dam was built which converted the sources into a pool of considerable depth. Either then, or somewhat later, excavations were made in the cliffs overhanging the pool, whereby some at least of these waters were conducted, by means of a tunnel, into the heart of the southeastern hill, "Ophel," so that the source could be reached from within the city walls. There are today two systems of tunnels which are usually classed as one under the name of the "Siloam aqueduct," but the two systems are probably many centuries apart in age.

2. The Aqueduct of the Canaanites:

The older tunnel begins in a cave near the source and then runs westward for a distance of 67 ft.; at the inner end of the tunnel there is a perpendicular shaft which ascends for over 40 ft. and opens into a lofty rock-cut passage which runs, with a slight lateral curvature, to the North, in the direction of the surface. The upper end has been partially destroyed, and the roof, which had fallen in, was long ago partially restored by a masonry arch. At this part of the passage the floor is abruptly interrupted across its whole width by a deep chasm which Warren partially excavated, but which Parker has since conclusively shown to end blindly. It is clear that this great gallery, which is 8 to 9 ft. wide, and in places as high or higher, was constructed (a natural cavern possibly utilized in the process) to enable the inhabitants of the walled-in city above it to reach the spring. It is in fact a similar work to the great water-passage at GEZER (which see), which commenced in a rock-cut pit 26 ft. deep and descended with steps, to a depth of 94 ft. 6 inches below the level of the rock surface; the sloping passage was 23 ft. high and 13 ft. broad. This passage which could be dated with certainty as before 1500 BC, and almost certainly as early as 2000 BC, was cut out with flint knives and apparently was made entirely to reach a great underground source of water.

3. Warren’s Shaft:

The discovery of this Gezer well-passage has thrown a flood of light upon the "Warren’s Shaft" in Jerusalem, which would appear to have been made for an exactly similar purpose. The chasm mentioned before may have been an effort to reach the source from a higher point, or it may have been made, or later adapted, to prevent ingress by means of the system of tunnels into the city. This passage is in all probability the "watercourse" (tsinnor) of 2Sa 5:8 up which, apparently, Joab and his men (1Ch 11:6) secretly made their way; they must have waded through the water at the source, ascended the perpendicular shaft (a feat performed in 1910 by some British officers without any assistance from ladders), and then made their way into the heart of the city along the great tunnel. Judging by the similar Gezer water tunnel, this great work may not only have existed in David’s time, but may have been constructed as much as 1,000 years before.

4. Hezekiah’s "Siloam" Aqueduct:

The true Siloam tunnel is a considerably later work. It branches off from the older aqueduct at a point 67 ft. from the entrance, and after running an exceedingly winding course of 1,682 ft., it empties itself into the Pool of Siloam (total length 1,749 ft.). The whole canal is rock cut; it is 2 to 3 ft. wide, and varies in height from 16 ft. at the south end to 4 ft. 6 inches at the lowest point, near the middle. The condition of this tunnel has recently been greatly changed through Captain Parker’s party having cleared out the accumulated silt of centuries; before this, parts of the channel could be traversed only with the greatest difficulty and discomfort. The primitive nature of this construction is shown by the many false passages made, and also by the extensive curves which greatly add to its length. This latter may also be partly due to the workmen following lines of soft strata. M. Clermont-Ganneau and others have thought that one or more of the great curves may have been made deliberately to avoid the tombs of the kings of Judah. The method of construction of the tunnel is narrated in the Siloam Inscription (see SILOAM). It was begun simultaneously from each end, and the two parties met in the middle. It is a remarkable thing that there is a difference of level of only one foot at each end; but the lofty height of the southern end is probably due to a lowering of the floor here after the junction was effected. It is practically certain that this great work is that referred to in 2Ki 20:20: "Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?" And in 2Ch 32:30: "This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David."

5. Other Aqueducts at Gihon:

In addition to these two conduits, which have a direct Scriptural interest, there are remains of at least two other aqueducts which take their origin at the Virgin’s Fount—one a channel deeply cut in rock along the western sides of the Kidron valley, found by Captain Parker, and the other a built channel, lined with very good cement, which takes its rise at a lower level than any of the other conduits close to the before-mentioned rocky cleft from which the water rises, and runs in a very winding direction along the western side of the Kidron. This the present writer has described in PEFS, 1902. One of these, perhaps more probably the former, may be the conduit which is referred to as Shiloah (shiloach), or "conducted" (Isa 8:6), before the construction of Hezekiah s work (see SILOAM).

There are other caves and rock-cut channels around the ancient Gihon which cannot fully be described here, but which abundantly confirm the sanctity of the site.

6. Bir Eyyub:

(b) Bir Eyyub has a depth of 125 ft.; the water collects at the bottom in a large rock-hewn chamber, and it is clear that it has been deepened at some period, because at the depth of 113 ft. there is a collecting chamber which is now replaced by the deeper one. Various rock-cut passages or staircases were found by Warren in the neighborhood of this well.

7. Varieties of Cisterns:

(2) The cisterns and tanks.—Every ancient site in the hill country of Palestine is riddled with cisterns for the storage of rain water. In Jerusalem for very many centuries the private resident has depended largely upon the water collected from the roof of his house for all domestic purposes. Such cisterns lie either under or alongside the dwelling. Many of the earliest of these excavations are bottle-shaped, with a comparatively narrow mouth cut through the hard Mizzeh and a large rounded excavation made in the underlying Melekeh (see II, 1 above). Other ancient cisterns are cavities hewn in the rock, of irregular shape, with a roof of harder rock and often several openings. The later forms are vaulted over, and are either cut in the rock or sometimes partially built in the superlying rubbish.

For more public purposes large cisterns were made in the Charam, or temple-area. Some 3 dozen are known and planned; the largest is calculated to contain 3,000,000 gallons. Such structures were made largely for the religious ritual, but, as we shall see, they have been supplied by other sources than the rainfall. In many parts of the city open tanks have been constructed, such a tank being known in Arabic as a birkeh, or, followed by a vowel, birket. With most of these there is considerable doubt as to their date of construction, but probably none of them, in their present form at any rate, antedates the Roman period.

8. Birket Israel:

Within the city walls the largest reservoir is the Birket Israel which extends from the northeastern angle of the Charam westward for 360 ft. It is 125 ft. wide and was originally 80 ft. deep, but has in recent years been largely filled up by the city’s refuse. The eastern and western ends of this pool are partially rock-cut and partly masonry, the masonry of the former being a great dam 45 ft. thick, the lower part of which is continuous with the ancient eastern wall of the temple-area. The sides of the pool are entirely masonry because this reservoir is built across the width of the valley referred to before (III, 2) as "St. Anne’s Valley." Other parts of this valley are filled with debris to the depth of 100 ft. The original bottom of the reservoir is covered with a layer of about 19 inches of very hard concrete and cement. There was a great conduit at the eastern end of the pool built of massive stones, and connected with the pool by a perforated stone with three round holes 5 1/2 inches in diameter. The position of this outlet shows that all water over a depth of 22 ft. must have flowed away. Some authorities consider this pool to have been pre-exilic. By early Christian pilgrims it was identified as the "Sheep Pool" of Joh 5:2, and at a later period, until quite recent times, it was supposed to have been the Pool of Bethesda.

9. Pool of Bethesda:

The discovery, a few years ago, of the long-lost Piscina in the neighborhood of the "Church of Anne," which was without doubt the Pool of Bethesda of the 5th century AD, has caused this identification to be abandoned.


10. The Twin Pools:

To the West of the Birket Israel are the "twin pools" which extend under the roadway in the neighborhood of the "Ecce Homo" arch. The western one is 165 ft. by 20 ft. and the eastern 127 ft. by 20 ft. M. Clermont-Ganneau considers them to be identical with the Pool Struthius of Josephus (BJ, V, xi, 4), but others, considering that they are actually made in the fosse of the Antonia, give them a later date of origin. In connection with these pools a great aqueduct was discovered in 1871, 2 1/2-3 ft. wide and in places 12 ft. high, running from the neighborhood of the Damascus Gate—but destroyed farther north—and from the pools another aqueduct runs in the direction of the Charam.

11. Birket Hammam el Batrak:

On the northwestern hill, between the Jaffa Gate and the Church of the Sepulchre there is a large open reservoir, known to the modern inhabitants of the city as Birket Kammam el Batrak, "the Pool of the Patriarch’s Bath." It is 240 ft. long (North to South), 144 ft. broad and 19-24 ft. deep. The cement lining of the bottom is cracked and practically useless. The eastern wall of this pool is particularly massive, and forms the base of the remarkably level street Karet en Nasara, or "Christian Street"; it is a not improbable theory that this is actually a fragment of the long-sought "second" wall. If so, the pool, which is proved to have once extended 60 ft. farther north, may have been constructed originally as part of the fosse. On the other hand, this pool appears to have been the Amygdalon Pool, or "Pool of the Tower" (berekhath ha-mighdalin), mentioned by Josephus (Jewish Wars, V, xi, 4), which was the scene of the activities of the 10th legion, and this seems inconsistent with the previous theory, as the events described seem to imply that the second wall ran outside the pool. The popular travelers’ name, "Pool of Hezekiah," given to this reservoir is due to theory, now quite discredited, that this is the pool referred to in 2Ki 20:20, "He made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city." Other earlier topographists have identified it as the "upper pool" of Isa 7:3; 36:2.

12. Birket Mamilla:

The Birket Kammam el Batrak is supplied with water from the Birket Mamilla, about 1/2 mile to the West. This large pool, 293 ft. long by 193 ft. broad and 19 1/2 ft. deep, lies in the midst of a large Moslem cemetery at the head of the Wady Mes, the first beginning of the Wady er Rababi (Hinnom). The aqueduct which connects the two pools springs from the eastern end of the Birket Mamilla, runs a somewhat winding course and enters the city near the Jaffa Gate. The aqueduct is in bad repair, and the water it carries, chiefly during heavy rain, is filthy. In the Middle Ages it was supposed that this was the "Upper Pool of Gihon" (see GIHON), but this and likewise the "highway of the FULLER’S FIELD" (which see) are now located elsewhere. Wilson and others have suggested that it is the "Serpent’s Pool" of Josephus (Jewish Wars, V, iii, 2). Titus leveled "all the places from Scopus to Herod’s monument which adjoins the pool called that of the Serpent." Like many such identifications, there is not very much to be said for or against it; it is probable that the pool existed at the time of the siege. It is likely that this is the Beth Memel of the Talmud (the Babylonian Talmud, ‘Erubin 51 b; Sanhedrin 24 a; Bere’shith Rabba’ 51).

13. Birket es Sultan:

The Birket es Sultan is a large pool—or, more strictly speaking, enclosure—555 ft. North and South by 220 ft. East and West. It is bounded on the West and North by a great curve of the low-level aqueduct as it passes along and then across the Wady er Rababi. The southern side consists of a massive dam across the valley over which the Bethlehem carriage road runs. The name may signify either the "great" pool or be connected with the fact that it was reconstructed in the 16th century by the sultan Suleiman ibn Selim, as is recorded on an inscription upon a wayside fountain upon the southern wall. This pool is registered in the cartulary of the Holy Sepulchre as the Lacus Germani, after the name of a knight of Germanus, who built or renovated the pool in 1176 AD. Probably a great part of the pool is a catchment area, and the true reservoir is the rock-cut birkeh at the southern end, which has recently been cleaned out. It is extremely difficult to believe that under any conditions any large proportion of the whole area could ever have even been filled. Today the reservoir at the lower end holds, after the rainy season, some 10 or 12 ft. of very dirty water, chiefly the street drainage of the Jaffa road, while the upper two-thirds of the enclosure is used as a cattle market on Fridays. The water is now used for sprinkling the dusty roads in dry seasons.

The Pool of Siloam and the now dry Birket el Kamra are described under SILOAM (which see).

There are other tanks of considerable size in and around the city, e.g. the Birket Sitti Miriam, near "St. Stephen’s Gate," an uncemented pool in the Wady Joz, connected with which there is a rockcut aqueduct and others, but they are not of sufficient historical importance to merit description here.

14. "Solomon’s Pools":

(3) The conduits bringing water to the city from a distance are called the "high-level" and "low-level" aqueducts respectively, because they reached the city at different levels—the former probably somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate, the latter at the temple-platform.

15. Low-Level Aqueduct:

The low-level aqueduct which, though out of repair, can still be followed along its whole course, conveyed water from three great pools in the Wady ‘Artas, 7 miles South of Jerusalem. They are usually called "Solomon’s pools," in reference perhaps partly to Ec 2:6: "I made me pools o water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared," but as any mighty work in Palestine is apt to be referred to the wise king of Israel, much stress cannot be laid on the name. These three storage reservoirs are constructed across the breadth of the valley, the lowest and largest being 582 ft. long by 177 ft. broad and, at the lowest end, 50 ft. deep. Although the overflow waters of ‘Ain es Saleh, commonly known as the "sealed fountain" (compare So 4:12), reach the pools, the chief function was probably to collect the flood waters from the winter rains, and the water was passed from tank to tank after purification. There are in all four springs in this valley which supply the aqueduct which still conveys water to Bethlehem, where it passes through the hill by means of a tunnel and then, after running, winding along the sides of the hill, it enters another tunnel now converted into a storage tank for Jerusalem; from this it runs along the mountain sides and along the southern slopes of the site of Jerusalem to the Charam. The total length of this aqueduct is nearly 12 miles, but at a later date the supply was increased by the construction of a long extension of the conduit for a further 28 miles to Wady ‘Arrub on the road to Hebron, another 5 miles directly South of the pools. Here, too, there is a reservoir, the Birket el ‘Arrub, for the collection of the flood-water, and also several small springs, which are conducted in a number of underground rock-cut channels to the aqueduct. The total length of the low-level aqueduct is about 40 miles, and the fall in level from Birket el ‘Arrub (2,645 ft. above sea-level) at its far end to el Kas, the termination in the Charam Jerusalem (2,410 ft. above sea-level), is 235 ft.

16. High-Level Aqueduct:

The high-level aqueduct commences in a remarkable chain of wells connected with a tunnel, about 4 miles long, in the Wady Biar, "the Valley of Wells." Upward of 50 wells along the valley bottom supplied each its quotient; the water thence passed through a pool where the solid matter settled, and traversed a tunnel 1,700 ft. long into the ‘Artas valley. Here, where its level was 150 ft. above that of the low-level aqueduct, the conduit received the waters of the "sealed fountain," and finally "delivered them in Jerusalem at a level of about 20 ft. above that of the Jaffa Gate" (Wilson). The most remarkable feature of this conduit is the inverted siphon of perforated limestone blocks, forming a stone tube 15 inches in diameter, which carried the water across the valley near Rachel’s Tomb.

17. Dates of Construction of These Aqueducts:

On a number of these blocks, Latin inscriptions with the names of centurions of the time of Severus (195 AD) have been found, and this has led many to fix a date to this great work. So good an authority as Wilson, however, considers that these inscriptions may refer to repairs, and that the work is more probably Herodian. Unless the accounts of Josephus (Jewish Wars, V, iv, 4; II, xvii, 9) are exaggerated, Herod must have had some means of bringing abundant running water into the city at the level obtained by this conduit. The late Dr. Schick even suggested a date as early as Hyrcanus (135-125 BC). With regard to the low-level aqueduct, we have two definite data. First Josephus (Ant., XVIII, iii, 2) states that Pontius Pilate "undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of 200 furlongs," over 22 miles; in Jewish Wars, II, ix, 4 he is said to have brought the water "from 400 furlongs"—probably a copyist’s error. But these references must either be to restorations or to the extension from Wady ‘Arrub to Wady ‘Artas (28 miles), for the low-level aqueduct from the pools to Jerusalem is certainly the same construction as the aqueduct from these pools to the "Frank Mountain," the Herodium, and that, according to the definite statements of Josephus (Ant., XV, ix, 4; BJ, I, xxi, 10), was made by Herod the Great. On the whole the usual view is that the high-level aqueduct was the work of Severus, the low-level that of Herod, with an extension southward by Pontius Pilate.

Jerus still benefits somewhat from the low-level aqueduct which is in repair as far as Bethlehem, though all that reaches the city comes only through a solitary 4-inch pipe. The high-level aqueduct is hopelessly destroyed and can be traced only in places; the wells of Wady Biar are choked and useless, and the long winding aqueduct to Wady ‘Arrub is quite broken.

VIII. Tombs, Antiquarian Remains and Ecclesiastical Sites.

1. The "Tombs of the Kings":

Needless to say all the known ancient tombs in the Jerusalem area have been rifled of their contents long ago. The so-called Tombs of the Kings in the Wady el Joz are actually the monument of Queen Helena of Adiabene, a convert to Judaism (circa 48 AD). Josephus (Ant., XX, iv, 3) states that her bones, with those of members of her family, were buried "at the pyramids," which were 3 in number and distant from Jerusalem 3 furlongs. A Hebrew inscription upon a sarcophagus found here by De Saulcy ran: (tsarah malkethah), "Queen Sarah," possibly the Jewish name of Queen Helena.

2. "Herod’s Tomb":

On the western side of the Wady el Mes (the higher part of Hinnom), is a very interesting Greek tomb containing beautifully carved sarcophagi. These are commonly known as "Herod’s Tombs" (although Herod the Great was buried on the Herodium), and, according to Schick, one of the sarcophagi may have belonged to Mariamne, Herod’s wife. A more probable theory is that this is the tomb of the high priest Ananias (Jewish Wars, V, xii, 2).

3. "Absalom’s Tomb":

On the eastern side of the Kidron, near the southeastern angle of the Charam, are 3 conspicuous tombs. The most northerly, Tantur Fer‘on, generally called "Absalom’s Tomb," is a Greek-Jewish tomb of the Hasmonean period, and, according to Conder, possibly the tomb of Alexander Janneus (HDB, article "Jerusalem"). S. of this is the traditional "Grotto of James," which we know by a square Hebrew inscription over the pillars to be the family tomb of certain members of the priestly family (1Ch 24:15), of the Beni Hazir. It may belong to the century before Christ.

The adjoining traditional tomb of Zachariah is a monolithic monument cut out of the living rock, 16 ft. square and 30 ft. high. It has square pilasters at the corners, Ionic pillars between, and a pyramidal top. Its origin is unknown; its traditional name is due to our Lord’s word in Mt 23:35; Lu 11:51 (see ZACHARIAH).

4. The "Egyptian Tomb":

A little farther down the valley of the Kidron, at the commencement of the village of Siloam, is another rock-cut tomb, the so-called Egyptian Tomb, or according to some, "the tomb of Solomon’s Egyptian wife." It is a monolith 18 ft. square and 11 ft. high, and the interior has at one time been used as a chapel. It is now Russian property. It probably belongs to much the same period as the three before-mentioned tombs, and, like them, shows strong Egyptian influence.

The so-called "Tombs of the Judges" belong to the Roman period, as do the scores of similar excavations in the same valley. The "Tombs of the Prophets" on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives are now considered to belong to the 4th or 5th Christian century.

Near the knoll over Jeremiah’s Grotto, to the West and Northwest, are a great number of tombs, mostly Christian. The more northerly members of the group are now included in the property of the Dominicans attached to the Church of Stephen, but one, the southernmost, has attracted a great deal of attention because it was supposed by the late General Gordon to be the tomb of Christ.

5. The "Garden Tomb":

In its condition when found it was without doubt, like its neighbors, a Christian tomb of about the 5th century, and it was full of skeletons. Whether it may originally have been a Jewish tomb is unproved; it certainly could not have been recognized as a site of any sanctity until General Gordon promulgated his theory (see PEFS, 1892, 120-24; see also GOLGOTHA).

6. Tomb of "Simon the Just":

The Jews greatly venerate a tomb on the eastern side of the Wady el Joz, not far South of the great North Road; they consider it to be the tomb of Simon the Just, but it is in all probability not a Jewish tomb at all.

7. Other Antiquities:

Only passing mention can here be made of certain remains of interest connected with the exterior walls of the Charam. The foundation walls of the temple-platform are built, specially upon the East, South and West, of magnificent blocks of smooth, drafted masonry with an average height of 3 1/2 ft. One line, known as the "master course," runs for 600 ft. westward from the southeastern angle, with blocks 7 ft. high. Near the southeastern angle at the foundation itself, certain of the blocks were found by the Palestine Exploration Fund engineers to be marked with Phoenician characters, which it was supposed by many at the time of their discovery indicated their Solomonic origin. It is now generally held that these "masons’ marks" may just as well have been used in the time of Herod the Great, and on other grounds it is held that all this magnificent masonry is due to the vast reconstruction of the Temple which this great monarch initiated (see TEMPLE). In the western wall of the Charam, between the southwestern corner and the "Jewish wailing place," lies "Robinson’s Arch." It is the spring of an arch 50 ft. wide, projecting from the temple-wall; the bridge arising from it had a span of 50 ft., and the pier on the farther side was discovered by Warren. Under the bridge ran a contemporary paved Roman street, and beneath the unbroken pavement was found, lying inside a rock aqueduct, a voussoir of an older bridge. This bridge connected the temple-enclosure with the upper city in the days of the Hasmonean kings. It was broken down in 63 BC by the Jews in anticipation of the attack of Pompey (Antiquities, XIV, iv, 2; BJ, I, vii, 2), but was rebuilt by Herod in 19 BC (Jewish Wars, VI, viii, 1; vi, 2), and finally destroyed in 70 AD.

Nearly 600 ft. farther North, along this western temple-wall is Wilson’s Arch, which lies under the surface within the causeway which crosses the Tyropeon to the Babylonian es Silseleh of the Charam; although not itself very ancient there are here, deeper down, arches belonging to the Herodian causeway which here approached the temple-platform.

8. Ecclesiastical Sites:

With regard to the common ecclesiastical sites visited by pious pilgrims little need be said here. The congeries of churches that is included under that name of Church of the Holy Sepulchre includes a great many minor sites of the scenes of the Passion which have no serious claims. Besides the Holy Sepulchre itself—which, apart from its situation, cannot be proved or disproved, as it has actually been destroyed—the only important site is that of "Mount Calvary." All that can be said is that if the Sepulchre is genuine, then the site may be also; it is today the hollowed-out shell of a rocky knoll encased in marble and other stones and riddled with chapels.


The coenaculum, close to the Moslem "Tomb of David" (a site which has no serious claims), has been upheld by Professor Sanday (Sacred Sites of the Gospels) as one which has a very strong tradition in its favor. The most important evidence is that of Epiphanias, who states that when Hadrian visited Jerusalem in 130, one of the few buildings left standing was "the little Church of God, on the site where the disciples, returning after the Ascension of the Saviour from Olivet, had gone up to the Upper room, for there it had been built, that is to say in the quarter of Zion." In connection with this spot there has been pointed out from early Christian times the site of the House of Caiaphas and the site of the death of the Virgin Mary—the Dormitio Sanctae Virginis. It is in consequence of this latter tradition that the German Roman Catholics have now erected here their magnificent new church of the Dormition. A rival line of traditions locates the tomb of the Virgin in the Kidron valley near Gethsemane, where there is a remarkable underground chapel belonging to the Greeks.


IX. History.

Pre-Israelite period.—The beginnings of Jerusalem are long before recorded history: at various points in the neighborhood, e.g. at el Bukei‘a to the Southwest, and at the northern extremity of the Mount of Olives to the Northeast, were very large settlements of Paleolithic man, long before the dawn of history, as is proved by the enormous quantities of Celts scattered over the surface. It is certain that the city’s site itself was occupied many centuries before David, and it is a traditional view that the city called SALEM (which see) (Ge 14:18), over which Melchizedek was king, was identical with Jerusalem.

1. Tell el-Amarna Correspondence:

The first certain reference to this city is about 1450 BC, when the name Ur-u-salem occurs in several letters belonging to the Tell el-Amarna Letters correspondence. In 7 of these letters occurs the name Abd Khiba, and it is clear that this man was "king," or governor of the city, as the representative of Pharaoh of Egypt. In this correspondence Abd Khiba represents himself as hard pressed to uphold the rights of his suzerain against the hostile forces which threaten to overwhelm him. Incidentally we may gather that the place was then a fortified city, guarded partly by mercenary Egyptian troops, and there are reasons for thinking that then ruler of Egypt, Amenhotep IV, had made it a sanctuary of his god Aten—the sun-disc. Some territory, possibly extending as far west as Ajalon, seems to have been under the jurisdiction of the governor. Professor Sayce has stated that Abd Khiba was probably a Hittite chief, but this is doubtful. The correspondence closes abruptly, leaving us in uncertainty with regard to the fate of the writer, but we know that the domination of Egypt over Palestine suffered an eclipse about this time.

2. Joshua’s Conquest:

At the time of Joshua’s invasion of Canaan, ADONI-ZEDEK (which see) is mentioned (Jos 10:1-27) as king of Jerusalem; he united with the kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon to fight against the Gibeonites who had made peace with Joshua; the 5 kings were defeated and, being captured in hiding at the cave Makkedah, were all slain. Another king, ADONIBEZEK (which see) (whom some identify with Adoni-zedek), was defeated by Judah after the death of Joshua, and after being mutilated was brought to Jerusalem and died there (Jud 1:1-7), after which it is recorded (Jud 1:8) that Judah "fought against Jerusalem, and took it .... and set the city on fire." But it is clear that the city remained in the hands of the "Jebusites" for some years more (Jud 1:21; 19:11), although it was theoretically reckoned on the southern border of Benjamin (Jos 15:8; 18:16,28). David, after he had reigned 7 1/2 years at Hebron, determined to make the place his capital and, about 1000 BC, captured the city.

3. Site of the Jebusite City:

Up to this event it is probable that Jerusalem was like other contemporary fortified sites, a comparatively small place encircled with powerful walls, with but one or perhaps two gates; it is very generally admitted that this city occupied the ridge to the South of the temple long incorrectly called "Ophel," and that its walls stood upon steep rocky scarps above the Kidron valley on the one side, and the Tyropeon on the other. We have every reason to believe that the great system of tunnels, known as "Warren’s Shaft" (see VII, 3, above) existed all through this period.

4. David:

The account of the capture of Jerusalem by David is obscure, but it seems a probable explanation of a difficult passage (2Sa 5:6-9) if we conclude that the Jebusites, relying upon the extraordinary strength of their position, challenged David: "Thou shalt not come in hither, but the blind and the lame shall turn thee away" (2Sa 5:6 margin), and that David directed his followers to go up the "watercourse" and smite the "lame and the blind"—a term he in his turn applies mockingly to the Jebusites. "And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was made chief" (1Ch 11:6). It seems at least probable that David’s men captured the city through a surprise attack up the great tunnels (see VII, 3, above). David having captured the stronghold "Zion," renamed it the "City of David" and took up his residence there; he added to the strength of the fortifications "round about from the MILLO (which see) and onward"; with the assistance of Phoenician workmen supplied by Hiram, king of Tyre, he built himself "a house of cedar" (2Sa 5:11; compare 7:2). The ark of Yahweh was brought from the house of Obed-edom and lodged in a tent (2Sa 6:17) in the "city of David" (compare 1Ki 8:1). The threshing-floor of Araunah (2Sa 24:18), or Ornan (1Ch 21:15), the Jebusite, was later purchased as the future site of the temple.

5. Expansion of the City:

The Jerusalem which David captured was small and compact, but there are indications that during his reign it must have increased considerably by the growth of suburbs outside the Jebusite walls. The population must have been increased from several sources. The influx of David’s followers doubtless caused many of the older inhabitants to be crowded out of the walled area. There appear to have been a large garrison (2Sa 15:18; 20:7), many officials and priests and their families (2Sa 8:16-18; 20:23-26; 23:8 ), and the various members of David’s own family and their relatives (2Sa 5:13-16; 14:24,28; 1Ki 1:5,53, etc.). It is impossible to suppose that all these were crowded into so narrow an area, while the incidental mention that Absalom lived two whole years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face implies suburbs (2Sa 14:24,28). The new dwellings could probably extend northward toward the site of the future temple and northwestward into and up the Tyropeon valley along the great north road. It is improbable that they could have occupied much of the western hill.

6. Solomon:

With the accession of Solomon, the increased magnificence of the court, the foreign wives and their establishments, the new officials and the great number of work people brought to the city for Solomon’s great buildings must necessarily have enormously swelled the resident population, while the recorded buildings of the city, the temple, the king’s house, the House of the Daughter of Pharaoh, the House of the Forest of Lebanon, the Throne Hall and the Pillared Hall (1Ki 7:1-8) must have altered the whole aspect of the site. In consequence of these new buildings, the sanctuary together with the houses of the common folk, a new wall for the city was necessary, and we have a statement twice made that Solomon built "the wall of Jerusalem round about" (1Ki 3:1; 9:15); it is also recorded that he built Millo (1Ki 9:15,24; 11:27), and that "he repaired the breach of the city of David his father" (1Ki 11:27). The question of the Millo is discussed elsewhere (see MILLO); the "breach" referred to may have been the connecting wall needed to include the Millo within the complete circle of fortifications, or else some part of David’s fortification which his death had left incomplete.

7. Solomon’s City Wall:

As regards the "Wall of Jerus" which Solomon built, it is practically certain that it was, on the North and West, that described by Josephus as the First Wall (see VI, 7 above). The vast rock-cut scarps at the southwestern corner testify to the massiveness of the building. Whether the whole of the southwestern hill was included is matter of doubt. Inasmuch as there are indications at Bliss’s tower (see VI, 4th above) of an ancient wall running northeasterly, and enclosing the summit of the southwestern hill, it would appear highly probable that Solomon’s wall followed that line; in this case this wall must have crossed the Tyropeon at somewhat the line of the existing southern wall, and then have run southeasterly to join the western wall of the old city of the Jebusites. The temple and palace buildings were all enclosed in a wall of finished masonry which made it a fortified place by itself—as it appears to have been through Hebrew history—and these walls, where external to the rest of the city, formed part of the whole circle of fortification.

Although Solomon built so magnificent a house for Yahweh, he erected in the neighborhood shrines to other local gods (1Ki 11:7,8), a lapse ascribed largely to the influence of his foreign wives and consequent foreign alliances.

8. The Disruption (933 BC):

The disruption of the kingdom must have been a severe blow to Jerusalem, which was left the capital, no longer of a united state, but of a petty tribe. The resources which were at the command of Solomon for the building up of the city were suddenly cut off by Jeroboam’s avowed policy, while the long state of war which existed between the two peoples—a state lasting 60 years (1Ki 14:30; 15:6,16; 22:44)—must have been very injurious to the growth of commerce and the arts of peace.

9. Invasion of Shishak (928 BC):

In the 5th year of Rehoboam (928), Shishak (Sheshonq) king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem (1Ki 14:25 ) and took "the fenced cities of Judah" (2Ch 12:4 the King James Version). It has been commonly supposed that he besieged and captured Jerusalem itself, but as there is no account of the destruction of fortifications and as the name of this city has not been deciphered upon the Egyptian records of this campaign, it is at least as probable, and is as consistent with the Scriptural references, that Shishak was bought off with "the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king’s house" and "all the shields of gold which Solomon had made" (1Ki 14:26).

10. City Plundered by Arabs:

It is clear that by the reign of Jehoshaphat the city had again largely recovered its importance (compare 1Ki 22), but in his son Jehoram’s reign (849-842 BC) Judah was invaded and the royal house was pillaged by Philistines and Arabs (2Ch 21:16-17). Ahaziah (842 BC), Jehoram’s son, came to grief while visiting his maternal relative at Jezreel, and after being wounded in his chariot near Ibleam, and expiring at Megiddo, his body was carried to Jerusalem and there buried (2Ki 9:27-28). Jerusalem was now the scene of the dramatic events which center round the usurpation and death of Queen Athaliah (2Ki 11:16; 2Ch 23:15) and the coronation and reforms of her grandson Joash (2Ki 12:1-16; 2Ch 24:1-14).

11. Hazael King of Syria Bought Off (797 BC):

After the death of the good priest Jehoiada, it is recorded (2Ch 24:15 ) that the king was led astray by the princes of Judah and forsook the house of Yahweh, as a consequence of which the Syrians under Hazael came against Judah and Jerusalem, slew the princes and spoiled the land, Joash giving him much treasure from both palace and temple (2Ki 12:17,18; 2Ch 24:23). Finally Joash was assassinated (2Ki 12:20,21; 2Ch 24:25) "at the house of Millo, on the way that goeth down to Silla."

12. Capture of the City of Jehoash of Israel:

During the reign of Amaziah (797-729 BC), the murdered king’s son, a victory over Edom appears to have so elated the king that he wantonly challenged Jehoash of Israel to battle (2Ki 14:8 f). The two armies met at Beth-shemesh, and Judah was defeated and "fled every man to his tent." Jerusalem was unable to offer any resistance to the victors, and Jehoash "brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, 400 cubits" and then returned to Samaria, loaded with plunder and hostages (2Ki 14:14). Fifteen years later, Amaziah was assassinated at Lachish whither he had fled from a conspiracy; nevertheless they brought his body upon horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem.

13. Uzziah’s Refortification (779-740 BC):

Doubtless it was a remembrance of the humiliation which his father had undergone which made Uzziah (Azariah) strengthen his position. He subdued the Philistines and the Arabs in Gur, and put the Ammonites to tribute (2Ch 26:7,8). He "built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turnings (Septuagint) of the walls, and fortified them" (2Ch 26:9). He is also described as having made in Jerusalem "engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and upon the battlements, wherewith to shoot arrows and great stones" (2Ch 26:15). The city during its long peace with its northern neighbors appears to have recovered something of her prosperity in the days of Solomon. During his reign the city was visited by a great earthquake (Zec 14:4; Am 1:1; compare Isa 9:10; 29:6; Am 4:11; 8:8). Jotham, his son, built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh" (2Ki 15:35; 2Ch 27:3), probably the same as the "upper gate of Benjamin" (Jer 20:2). He also built much on the wall of Ophel—probably the ancient fortress of Zion on the southeastern hill (2Ch 27:3); see OPHEL.

14. Ahaz Allies with Assyria (736-728 BC):

His son Ahaz was soon to have cause to be thankful for his father’s and grandfather’s work in fortifying the city, for now its walls were successful in defense against the kings of Syria and Israel (2Ki 16:5,6); but Ahaz, feeling the weakness of his little kingdom, bought with silver and gold from the house of Yahweh the alliance of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria. He met the king at Damascus and paid him a compliment by having an altar similar to his made for his own ritual in the temple (2Ki 16:10-12). His reign is darkened by a record of heathen practices, and specially by his making "his son to pass through the fire"—as a human sacrifice in, apparently, the Valley of Hinnom (1Ki 16:3-4; compare 2Ch 28:3).

15. Hezekiah’s Great Works:

Hezekiah (727-699 BC), his son, succeeded to the kingdom at a time of surpassing danger. Samaria, and with it the last of Israel’s kingdom, had fallen. Assyria had with difficulty been bought off, the people were largely apostate, yet Jerusalem was never so great and so inviolate to prophetic eyes (Isa 7:4; 8:8,10; 10:28; 14:25-32, etc.). Early in his reign, the uprising of the Chaldean Merodach-baladan against Assyria relieved Judah of her greatest danger, and Hezekiah entered into friendly relations with this new king of Babylon, showing his messengers all his treasures (Isa 39:1,2). At this time or soon after, Hezekiah appears to have undertaken great works in fitting his capital for the troubled times which lay before him. He sealed the waters of Gihon and brought them within the city to prevent the kings of Assyria from getting access to them (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:4,30).


It is certain, if their tunnel was to be of any use, the southwestern hill must have been entirely enclosed, and it is at least highly probable that in the account (2Ch 32:5), he "built up all the wall that was broken down, and built towers thereon (margin), and the other wall without," the last phrase may refer to the stretch of wall along the edge of the southwestern hill to Siloam. On the other hand, if that was the work of Solomon, "the other wall" may have been the great buttressed dam, with a wall across it which closed the mouth of the Tyropeon, which was an essential part of his scheme of preventing a besieging army from getting access to water. He also strengthened MILLO (which see), on the southeastern hill. Secure in these fortifications, which made Jerusalem one of the strongest walled cities in Western Asia, Hezekiah, assisted, as we learn from Sennacherib’s descriptions, by Arab mercenaries, was able to buy off the great Assyrian king and to keep his city inviolate (2Ki 18:13-16). A second threatened attack on the city appears to be referred to in 2Ki 19:9-37.

16. His Religious Reforms:

Hezekiah undertook reforms. "He removed the high places, and brake the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made and .... he called it Nehushtan," i.e. a piece of brass (2Ki 18:4).

Manasseh succeeded his father when but 12, and reigned 55 years (698-643) in Jerusalem (2Ki 21:1). He was tributary to Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, as we know from their inscriptions; in one of the latter’s he is referred to as king "of the city of Judah." The king of Assyria who, it is said (2Ch 33:11; compare Ant, X, iii, 2), carried Manasseh in chains to Babylon, was probably Ashurbanipal. How thoroughly the country was permeated by Assyrian influence is witnessed by the two cuneiform tablets recently found at Gezer belonging to this Assyrian monarch’s reign (PEFS, 1905, 206, etc.).

17. Manasseh’s Alliance with Assyria:

The same influence, extending to the religious sphere, is seen in the record (2Ki 21:5) that Manasseh "built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Yahweh." There are other references to the idolatrous practices introduced by this king (compare Jer 7:18; 2Ki 23:5,11,12, etc.). He also filled Jerusalem from one end to the other with the innocent blood of martyrs faithful to Yahweh (2Ki 21:16; compare Jer 19:4). Probably during this long reign of external peace the population of the city much increased, particularly by the influx of foreigners from less isolated regions.

18. His Repair of the Walls:

Of this king’s improvements to the fortifications of Jerusalem we have the statement (2Ch 33:14), "He built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate." This must have been a new or rebuilt wall for the whole eastern side of the city. He also compassed about the OPHEL (which see) and raised it to a very great height.

Manasseh was the first of the Judahic kings to be buried away from the royal tombs. He was buried (as was his son Amon) "in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza" (2Ki 21:18). These may be the tombs referred to (Eze 43:7-9) as too near the temple precincts.

19. Josiah and Religious Reforms (640-609 BC):

In the reign of Josiah was found the "Book of the Law," and the king in consequence instituted radical reforms (2Ki 22; 23). Kidron smoked with the burnings of the Asherah and of the vessels of Baal, and Topheth in the Valley of Hinnom was defiled. At length after a reign of 31 years (2Ki 23:29,30), Josiah, in endeavoring to intercept Pharaoh-necoh from combining with the king of Babylon, was defeated and slain at Megiddo and was buried "in his own sepulchre" in Jerusalem—probably in the same locality where his father and grandfather lay buried. Jehoahaz, after a reign of but 3 months, was carried captive (2Ki 23:34) by Necoh to Egypt, where he died—and apparently was buried among strangers (Jer 22:10-12). His brother Eliakim, renamed Jehoiakim, succeeded. In the 4th year of his reign, Egypt was defeated at Carchemish by the Babylonians, and as a consequence Jehoiakim had to change from subjection to Egypt to that of Babylon.

20. Jeremiah Prophesies the Approaching Doom:

During this time Jeremiah was actively foretelling in streets and courts of Jerusalem (5:1, etc.) the approaching ruin of the city, messages which were received with contempt and anger by the king and court (Jer 36:23). In consequence of his revolt against Babylon, bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites and Ammonites came against him (2Ki 24:2), and his death was inglorious (2Ki 24:6; Jer 22:18,19).

21. Nebuchadnezzar Twice Takes Jerusalem (586 BC):

His son Jehoiachin, who succeeded him, went out with all his household and surrendered to the approaching Nebuchadnezzar (597), and was carried to Babylon where he passed more than 37 years (2Ki 25:27-30). Jerusalem was despoiled of all its treasures and all its important inhabitants. The king of Babylon’s nominee, Zedekiah, after 11 years rebelled against him, and consequently Jerusalem was besieged for a year and a half until "famine was sore in the city." On the 9th of Ab all the men of war "fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden," i.e. near the mouth of the Tyropeon, and the king "went by the way of the Arabah," but was overtaken and captured "in the plains of Jericho." A terrible punishment followed his faithlessness to Babylon (2Ki 25:1-7). The city and the temple were despoiled and burnt; the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and none but the poorest of the land "to be vinedressers and husbandmen" were left behind (2Ki 25:8 f; 2Ch 36:17 f). It is probable that the ark was removed also at this time.

22. Cyrus and the First Return (538 BC):

With the destruction of their city, the hopes of the best elements in Judah turned with longing to the thought of her restoration. It is possible that some of the remnant left in the land may have kept up some semblance of the worship of Yahweh at the temple-site. At length, however, when in 538 Cyrus the Persian became master of the Babylonian empire, among many acts of a similar nature for the shrines of Assyrian and Babylonian gods, he gave permission to Jews to return to rebuild the house of Yahweh (Ezr 1:1 f). Over 40,000 (Ezr 1; 2) under Sheshbazzar, prince of Judah (Ezr 1:8,11), governor of a province, returned, bringing with them the sacred vessels of the temple. The daily sacrifices were renewed and the feasts and fasts restored (Ezr 3:3-7), and later the foundations of the restored temple were laid (Ezr 3:10; 5:16), but on account of the opposition of the people of the land and the Samaritans, the building was not completed until 20 years later (Ezr 6:15).

23. Nehemiah Rebuilds the Walls:

The graphic description of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in 445 by Nehemiah gives us the fullest account we have of these fortifications at any ancient period. It is clear that Nehemiah set himself to restore the walls, as far as possible, in their condition before the exile. The work was done hurriedly and under conditions of danger, half the workers being armed with swords, spears and bows to protect the others, and every workman was a soldier (Ne 4:13,16-21). The rebuilding took 52 days, but could not have been done at all had not much of the material lain to hand in the piles of ruined masonry. Doubtless the haste and limited resources resulted in a wall far weaker than that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed 142 years previously, but it followed the same outline and had the same general structure.

24. Bagohi Governor:

For the next 100 years we have scarcely any historical knowledge of Jerusalem. A glimpse is afforded by the papyri of Elephantine where we read of a Jewish community in Upper Egypt petitioning Bagohi, the governor of Judea, for permission to rebuild their own temple to Yahweh in Egypt; incidentally they mention that they had already sent an unsuccessful petition to Johanan the high priest and his colleagues in Jerusalem. In another document we gather that this petition to the Persian governor was granted. These documents must date about 411-407 BC. Later, probably about 350, we have somewhat ambiguous references to the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of numbers of Jews in the time of Artaxerxes (III) Ochus (358-337 BC).

With the battle of Issus and Alexander’s Palestinian campaign (circa 332 BC), we are upon surer historical ground, though the details of the account (Ant., XI, viii, 4) of Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem itself are considered of doubtful authenticity.

25. Alexander the Great:

After his death (323 BC), Palestine suffered much from its position, between the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Antioch. Each became in turn its suzerain, and indeed at one time the tribute appears to have been divided between them (Ant., XII, iv, 1).

26. The Ptolemaic Rule:

In 321 Ptolemy Soter invaded Palestine, and, it is said (Ant., XII, i, 1), captured Jerusalem by a ruse, entering the city on the Sabbath as if anxious to offer sacrifice. He carried away many of his Jewish prisoners to Egypt and settled them there. In the struggles between the contending monarchies, although Palestine suffered, the capital itself, on account of its isolated position, remained undisturbed, under the suzerainty of Egypt. In 217 BC, Ptolemy (IV) Philopator, after his victory over Antiochus III at Raphia, visited the temple at Jerusalem and offered sacrifices; he is reported (3 Macc 1) to have entered the "Holy of Holies." The comparative prosperity of the city during the Egyptian domination is witnessed to by Hecataeus of Abdera, who is quoted by Jos; he even puts the population of the city at 120,000, which is probably an exaggeration.

27. Antiochus the Great:

At length in 198, Antiochus the Great having conquered Coele-Syria in the epoch-making battle at Banias, the Jews of their own accord went over to him and supplied his army with plentiful provisions; they assisted him in besieging the Egyptian garrison in the AKRA (which see) (Ant., XII, iii, 3). Josephus produces letters in which Antiochus records his gratification at the reception given him by the Jews and grants them various privileges (same place) . We have an account of the prosperity of the city about this time (190-180 BC) by Jesus ben Sira in the Book of Ecclus; it is a city of crowded life and manifold activities. He refers in glowing terms to the great high priest, Simon ben Onias (226-199 BC), who (Ecclesiasticus 50:1-4) had repaired and fortified the temple and strengthened the walls against a siege. The letter of Aristeas, dated probably at the close of this great man’s life (circa 200 BC), gives a similar picture. It is here stated that the compass of the city was 40 stadia. The very considerable prosperity and religious liberty which the Jews had enjoyed under the Egyptians were soon menaced under the new ruler; the taxes were increased, and very soon fidelity to the tenets of Judaism came to be regarded as treachery to the Seleucid rule.

28. Hellenization of the City under Antiochus Epiphanes:

Under Antiochus Epiphanes the Hellenization of the nation grew apace (2 Macc 4:9-12; Ant, XII, v, 1); at the request of the Hellenizing party a "place of exercise" was erected in Jerusalem (1 Macc 1:14; 2 Macc 4:7 f). The Gymnasium was built and was soon thronged by young priests; the Greek hat—the petasos—became the fashionable headdress in Jerusalem. The Hellenistic party, which was composed of the aristocracy, was so loud in its professed devotion to the king’s wishes that it is not to be wondered at that Antiochus, who, on a visit to the city, had been received with rapturous greetings, came to think that the poor and pious who resisted him from religious motives were largely infected with leanings toward his enemies in Egypt. The actual open rupture began when tidings reached Antiochus, after a victorious though politically barren campaign in Egypt, that Jerusalem had risen in his rear on behalf of the house of Ptolemy. Jason, the renegade high priest, who had been hiding across the Jordan, had, on the false report of the death of Antiochus, suddenly returned and re-possessed himself of the city. Only the Akra remained to Syria, and this was crowded with Menelaus and those of his followers who had escaped the sword of Jason.

29. Capture of the City (170 BC):

Antiochus lost no time; he hastened (170 BC) against Jerusalem with a great army, captured the city, massacred the people and despoiled the temple (1 Macc 1:20-24; Ant, XII, v, 3). Two years later Antiochus, balked by Rome in Egypt (Polyb. xxix. 27; Livy xlv. 12), appears to have determined that in Jerusalem, at any rate, he would have no sympathizers with Egypt.

30. Capture of 168 BC:

He sent his chief collector of tribute (1 Macc 1:29), who attacked the city with strong force and, by means of stratagem, entered it (1 Macc 1:30). After he had despoiled it, he set it on fire and pulled down both dwellings and walls. He massacred the men, and many of the women and children he sold as slaves (1 Macc 1:31-35; 2 Macc 5:24).

31. Attempted Suppression of Judaism:

He sacrificed swine (or at least a sow) upon the holy altar, and caused the high priest himself—a Greek in all his sympathies—to partake of the impure sacrificial feasts; he tried by barbarous cruelties to suppress the ritual of circumcision (Ant., XII, v, 4). In everything he endeavored, in conjunction with the strong Hellenizing party, to organize Jerusalem as a Greek city, and to secure his position he built a strong wall, and a great tower for the Akra, and, having furnished it well with armor and victuals, he left a strong garrison (1 Macc 1:33-35). But the Syrians had overreached themselves this time, and the reaction against persecution and attempted religious suppression produced the great uprising of the Maccabeans.

32. The Maccabean Rebellion:

The defeat and retirement of the Syrian commander Lysias, followed by the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, led to an entire reversal of policy on the part of the Council of the boy-king, Antiochus V. A general amnesty was granted, with leave to restore the temple-worship in its ancestral forms. The following year (165 BC) Judas Maccabeus found "the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest . . . . and the priests’ chambers pulled down" (1 Macc 4:38).

33. The Dedication of the Temple (165 BC):

He at once saw to the reconstruction of the altar and restored the temple-services, an event celebrated ever after as the "Feast of the Dedication," or chanukkah (1 Macc 4:52-59; 2 Macc 10:1-11; Ant, XII, vii, 7; compare Joh 10:22). Judas also "builded up Mt. Zion," i.e. the temple-hill, making it a fortress with "high walls and strong towers round about," and set a garrison in it (1 Macc 4:41-61).

34. Defeat of Judas and Capture of the City:

The Hellenizing party suffered in the reaction, and the Syrian garrison in the Akra, Syria’s one hold on Judea, was closely invested, but though Judas had defeated three Syrian armies in the open, he could not expel this garrison. In 163 BC a great Syrian army, with a camel corps and many elephants, came to the relief of the hard-pressed garrison. Lysias, accompanied by the boy-king himself (Antiochus V), approached the city from the South via BETH-ZUR (which see). At Beth-zachariah the Jews were defeated, and Judas’ brother Eleazar was slain, and Jerusalem was soon captured. The fort on Mt. Zion which surrounded the sanctuary was surrendered by treaty, but when the king saw its strength he broke his oath and destroyed the fortifications (1 Macc 6:62). But even in this desperate state Judas and his followers were saved. A certain pretender, Philip, raised a rebellion in a distant part of the empire, and Lysias was obliged to patch up a truce with the nationalist Jews more favorable to Judas than before his defeat; the garrison in the Akra remained, however, to remind the Jews that they were not independent. In 161 BC another Syrian general, Nicanor, was sent against Judas, but he was at first won over to friendship and when, later, at the instigation of the Hellenistic party, he was compelled to attack Judas, he did so with hastily raised levies and was defeated at Adasa, a little North of Jerusalem. Judas was, however, not long suffered to celebrate his triumph. A month later Bacchides appeared before Jerusalem, and in April, 161, Judas was slain in battle with him at Berea.

35. His Death (161 BC):

Both the city and the land were re-garrisoned by Syrians; nevertheless, by 152, Jonathan, Judas’ brother, who was residing at Michmash, was virtual ruler of the land, and by astute negotiation between Demetrius and Alexander, the rival claimants to the throne of Antioch, Jonathan gained more than any of his family had ever done. He was appointed high priest and strategos, or deputy for the king, in Judea. He repaired the city and restored the temple-fortress with squared stones (1 Macc 10:10-11).

36. Jonathan’s Restorations:

He made the walls higher and built up a great part of the eastern wall which had been destroyed and "repaired which was called Caphenatha" (1 Macc 12:36-37; Ant, XIII, v, ii); he also made a great mound between the Akra and the city to isolate the Syrian garrison (same place) .

37. Surrender of City to Antiochus Sidetes (134 BC):

Simon, who succeeded Jonathan, finally captured the Akra in 139, and, according to Josephus (Ant., XIII, vi, 7), not only destroyed it, but partially leveled the very hill on which it stood (see, however, 1 Macc 14:36,37). John Hyrcanus, 5 years later (134 BC), was besieged in Jerusalem by Antiochus Sidetes in the 4th year of his reign; during the siege the Syrian king raised 100 towers each 3 stories high against the northern wall—possibly these may subsequently have been used for the foundations of the second wall. Antiochus was finally bought off by the giving of hostages and by heavy tribute, which Hyrcanus is said to have obtained by opening the sepulcher of David. Nevertheless the king "broke down the fortifications that encompassed the city" (Ant., XIII, viii, 2-4).

38. Hasmonean Buildings:

During the more prosperous days of the Hasmonean rulers, several important buildings were erected. There was a great palace on the western (southwestern) hill overlooking the temple (Ant., XX, viii, 11), and connected with it at one time by means of a bridge across the Tyropeon, and on the northern side of the temple a citadel—which may (see VIII, 7 above) have been the successor of one here in pre-exilic times—known as the Baris; this, later on, Herod enlarged into the Antonia (Ant., XV, xi, 4; BJ, V, v, 8).

39. Rome’s Intervention:

In consequence of the quarrel of the later Hasmonean princes, further troubles fell upon the city. In 65 BC, Hyrcanus II, under the instigation of Antipas the Idumean, rebelled against his brother Aristobulus, to whom he had recently surrendered his claim to sovereignty. With the assistance of Aretas, king of the Nabateans, he besieged Aristobulus in the temple. The Roman general Scaurus, however, by order of Pompey, compelled Aretas to retire, and then lent his assistance to Aristobulus, who overcame his brother (Ant., XIV, ii, 1-3). Two years later (63 BC) Pompey, having been met by the ambassadors of both parties, bearing presents, as well as of the Pharisees, came himself to compose the quarrel of the rival factions, and, being shut out of the city, took it by storm.

40. Pompey Takes the City by Storm:

He entered the "Holy of Holies," but left the temple treasures unharmed. The walls of the city were demolished; Hyrcanus II was reinstated high priest, but Aristobulus was carried a prisoner to Rome, and the city became tributary to the Roman Empire (Ant., XIV, iv, 1-4; BJ, I, vii, 1-7). The Syrian proconsul, M. Lucinius Crassus, going upon his expedition against the Parthians in 55 BC, carried off from the temple the money which Pompey had left (Ant., XIV, vii, 1).

41. Julius Caesar Appoints Antipater Procurator (47 BC):

In 47 BC Antipater, who for 10 years had been gaining power as a self-appointed adviser to the weak Hyrcanus, was made a Roman citizen and appointed procurator in return for very material services which he had been able to render to Julius Caesar in Egypt (Ant., XIV, viii, 1, 3, 5); at the same time Caesar granted to Hyrcanus permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem besides other privileges (Ant., XIV, x, 5). Antipater made his eldest son, Phaselus, governor of Jerusalem, and committed Galilee to the care of his able younger son, Herod.

42. Parthian Invasion:

In 40 BC Herod succeeded his father as procurator of Judea by order of the Roman Senate, but the same year the Parthians under Pacorus and Barzapharnes captured and plundered Jerusalem (Ant., XIV, xiii, 3,1) and re-established Antigonus (Jewish Wars, I, xiii, 13). Herod removed his family and treasures to Massada and, having been appointed king of Judea by Antony, returned, after various adventures, in 37 BC. Assisted by Sosius, the Roman proconsul, he took Jerusalem by storm after a 5 months siege; by the promise of liberal reward he restrained the soldiers from sacking the city (Ant., XIV, xvi, 2-3).

43. Reign of Herod the Great (37-4 BC):

During the reign of this great monarch Jerusalem assumed a magnificence surpassing that of all other ages. In 24 BC the king built his vast palace in the upper city on the southwestern hill, near where today are the Turkish barracks and the Armenian Quarter. He rebuilt the fortress to the North of the temple—the ancient Baris—on a great scale with 4 lofty corner towers, and renamed it the Antonia in honor of his patron. He celebrated games in a new theater, and constructed a hippodrome (Jewish Wars, II, iii, 1) or amphitheater (Antiquities, XV, viii, 1).

44. Herod’s Great Buildings:

He must necessarily have strengthened and repaired the walls, but such work was outshone by the 4 great towers which he erected, Hippicus, Pharsel and Mariamne, near the present Jaffa Gate—the foundations of the first two Great are supposed to be incorporated in the present so-called "Tower of David"—and the lofty octagonal tower, Psephinus, farther to the Northwest. The development of Herod’s plans for the reconstruction of the temple was commenced in 19 BC, but they were not completed till 64 AD (Joh 2:20; Mt 24:1,2; Lu 21:5,6). The sanctuary itself was built by 1,000 specially trained priests within a space of 18 months (11-10 BC). The conception was magnificent, and resulted in a mass of buildings of size and beauty far surpassing anything that had stood there before. Practically all the remains of the foundations of the temple-enclosure now surviving in connection with the Charam belong to this period. In 4 BC—the year of the Nativity—occurred the disturbances following upon the destruction of the Golden Eagle which Herod had erected over the great gate of the temple, and shortly afterward Herod died, having previously shut up many of the leading Jews in the hippodrome with orders that they should be slain when he passed away (Jewish Wars, I, xxxiii, 6). The accession of Archelaus was signalized by Passover riots which ended in the death of 3,000, an after-result of the affair of the Golden Eagle.

45. Herod Archelaus (4 BC-6 AD):

Thinking that order had been restored, Archelaus set out for Rome to have his title confirmed. During his absence Sabinus, the Roman procurator, by mismanagement and greed, raised the city about his ears, and the next Passover was celebrated by a massacre, street fighting and open robbery. Varus, the governor of Syria, who had hastened to the help of his subordinate, suppressed the rebellion with ruthless severity and crucified 2,000 Jews. Archelaus returned shortly afterward as ethnarch, an office which he retained until his exile in 6 AD. During the procuratorship of Coponius (6-10 AD) another Passover riot occurred in consequence of the aggravating conduct of some Samaritans.

46. Pontius Pilate:

During the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate (26-37 AD) there were several disturbances, culminating in a riot consequent upon his taking some of the "corban" or sacred offerings of the temple for the construction of an aqueduct (Ant., XVIII, iii, 2)—probably part at least of the "lowlevel aqueduct" (see VII, 15, above). Herod Agrippa I enclosed the suburbs, which had grown up North of the second wall and of the temple, by what Josephus calls the "Third Wall" (see V, above).

47. King Agrippa:

His son, King Agrippa, built—about 56 AD—a large addition to the old Hasmonean palace, from which he could overlook the temple area. This act was a cause of offense to the Jews who built a wall on the western boundary of the Inner Court to shut off his view. In the quarrel which ensued the Jews were successful in gaining the support of Nero (Ant., XX, viii, 11). In 64 AD the long rebuilding of the temple-courts, which had been begun in 19 BC, was concluded. The 18,000 workmen thrown out of employment appear to have been given "unemployed work" in "paving the city with white stone" (Ant., XX, ix, 6-7).

48. Rising against Florus and Defeat of Gallus:

Finally the long-smoldering discontent of the Jews against the Romans burst forth into open rebellion under the criminal incompetence of Gessius Florus, 66 AD (Ant., XX, xi, 1). Palaces and public buildings were fired by the angered multitude, and after but two days’ siege, the Antonia itself was captured, set on fire and its garrison slain (Jewish Wars, II, xvii, 6-7). Cestius Gallus, hastening from Syria, was soon engaged in a siege of the city. The third wall was captured and the suburb BEZETHA (which see) burnt, but, when about to renew the attack upon the second wall, Gallus appears to have been seized with panic, and his partial withdrawal developed into an inglorious retreat in which he was pursued by the Jews down the pass to the Beth-horons as far as Antipatris (Jewish Wars, II, xix).

49. The City Besieged by Titus (70 AD):

This victory cost the Jews dearly in the long run, as it led to the campaign of Vespasian and the eventual crushing of all their national hopes. Vespasian commenced the conquest in the north, and advanced by slow and certain steps. Being recalled to Rome as emperor in the midst of the war, the work of besieging and capturing the city itself fell to his son Titus. None of the many calamities which had happened to the city are to be compared with this terrible siege. In none had the city been so magnificent, its fortifications so powerful, its population so crowded. It was Passover time, but, in addition to the crowds assembled for this event, vast numbers had hurried there, flying from the advancing Roman army. The loss of life was enormous; refugees to Titus gave 600,000 as the number dead (Jewish Wars, V, xiii, 7), but this seems incredible. The total population today within the walls cannot be more than 20,000, and the total population of modern Jerusalem, which covers a far greater area than that of those days, cannot at the most liberal estimate exceed 80,000. Three times this, or, say, a quarter of a million, seems to be the utmost that is credible, and many would place the numbers at far less.

50. Party Divisions within the Besieged Walls:

The siege commenced on the 14th of Nisan, 70 AD, and ended on the 8th of Elul, a total of 134 days. The city was distracted by internal feuds. Simon held the upper and lower cities; John of Gischala, the temple and "Ophel"; the Idumeans, introduced by the Zealots, fought only Walls for themselves, until they relieved the city of their terrors. Yet another party, too weak to make its counsels felt, was for peace with Rome, a policy which, if taken in time, would have found in Titus a spirit of reason and mercy. The miseries of the siege and the destruction of life and property were at least as much the work of the Jews themselves as of their conquerors. On the 15th day of the siege the third wall (Agrippa’s), which had been but hastily finished upon the approach of the Romans, was captured; the second wall was finally taken on the 24th day; on the 72nd day the Antonia fell, and 12 days later the daily sacrifice ceased. On the 105th day—the ominous 9th of Ab—the temple and the lower city were burnt, and the last day found the whole city in flames.

51. Capture and Utter Destruction of the City:

Only the three great towers of Herod, Hippicus, Pharsel and Mariamne, with the western walls, were spared to protect the camp of the Xth Legion which was left to guard the site, and "in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was and how well fortified"; the rest of the city was dug up to its foundations (Jewish Wars, VII, i, 1).

52. Rebellion of Bar-Cochba:

For 60 years after its capture silence reigns over Jerusalem. We know that the site continued to be garrisoned, but it was not to any extent rebuilt. In 130 AD it was visited by Hadrian, who found but few buildings standing. Two years later (132-35 AD) occurred the last great rebellion of the Jews in the uprising of Bar-Cocha ("son of a star"), who was encouraged by the rabbi Akiba. With the suppression of this last effort for freedom by Julius Severus, the remaining traces of Judaism were stamped out, and it is even said (the Jerusalem Talmud, Ta‘anith 4) that the very site of the temple was plowed up by T. Annius Rufus; An altar of Jupiter was placed upon the temple-site, and Jews were excluded from Jerusalem on pain of death.

53. Hadrian Builds AElia Capitolina:

In 138 Hadrian rebuilt the city, giving it the name AElia Capitolina. The line of the Southern wall of AElia was probably determined by the southern fortification of the great Roman legionary camp on the western (southwestern) hill, and it is probable that it was the general line of the existing southern wall. At any rate, we know that the area occupied by the coenaculum and the traditional "Tomb of David" was outside the walls in the 4th century. An equestrian statue of Hadrian was placed on the site of the "Holy of Holies" (Jerome, Commentary on Isa 2:8; Mt 24:15). An inscription now existing in the southern wall of the temple-area, in which occurs the name of Hadrian, may have belonged to this monument, while a stone head, discovered in the neighborhood of Jerusalem some 40 years ago, may have belonged to the statue. Either Hadrian himself, or one of the Antonine emperors, erected a temple of Venus on the northwestern hill, where subsequently was built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Euseb., Life of Constantine, III, 36). The habit of pilgrimage to the holy sites, which appears to have had its roots far back in the 2nd century (see Turner, Journal of Theological Studies, I, 551, quoted by Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, 75-76), seems to have increasingly flourished in the next two centuries; beyond this we know little of the city.

54. Constantine Builds the Church of the Anastasis:

In 333 AD, by order of Constantine, the new church of the Anastasis, marking the supposed site of the Holy Sepulchre, was begun. The traditions regarding this site and the Holy Cross alleged to have been found there, are recorded some time after the events and are of doubtful veracity. The building must have been magnificent, and covered a considerably larger area than that of the existing church. In 362 Julian is said to have attempted to rebuild the temple, but the work was interrupted by an explosion. The story is doubtful.

At some uncertain date before 450 the coenaculum and "Church of the Holy Zion" were incorporated within the walls. This is the condition depicted in the Madeba Mosaic and also that described by Eucherius who, writing between 345-50 AD, states that the circuit of the walls "now receives within itself Mt. Zion, which was once outside, and which, lying on the southern side, overhangs the city like a citadel." It is possible this was the work of the emperor Valentinian who is known to have done some reconstruction of the walls.

55. The Empress Eudoxia Rebuilds the Walls:

In 450 the empress Eudoxia, the widow of Theodosius II, took up her residence in Jerusalem and rebuilt the walls upon their ancient lines, bringing the whole of the southwestern hill, as well as the Pool of Siloam, within the circuit (Evagarius, Hist. Eccles., I, 22). At any rate, this inclusion of the pool existed in the walls described by Antoninus Martyr in 560 AD, and it is confirmed by Bliss’s work (see above VI, 4). She also built the church of Stephen, that at the Pool of Siloam and others.

56. Justinian:

The emperor Justinian, who was perhaps the greatest of the Christian builders, erected the great Church of Mary, the remains of which are now considered by some authorities to be incorporated in the el Aqsa Mosque; he built also a "Church of Sophia" in the "Pretorian," i.e. on the site of the Antonia (see, however, PRAETORIUM), and a hospital to the West of the temple. The site of the temple itself appears to have remained in ruins down to the 7th century.

57. Chosroes II Captures the City:

In 614 Palestine was conquered by the Persian Chosroes II, and the Jerusalem churches, including that of the Holy Sepulchre, were destroyed, an event which did much to prepare the way for the Moslem architects of half a century later, who freely used the columns of these ruined churches in the building of the "Dome of the Rock."

58. Heracleus Enters It in Triumph:

In 629 Heracleus, having meanwhile made peace with the successor of Chosroes II, reached Jerusalem in triumph, bearing back the captured fragment of the cross. He entered the city through the "Golden Gate," which indeed is believed by many to have reached its present form through his restorations. The triumph of Christendom was but short. Seven years earlier had occurred the historic flight of Mohammed from Mecca (the Hegira), and in 637 the victorious followers of the Prophet appeared in the Holy City. After a short siege, it capitulated, but the khalif Omar treated the Christians with generous mercy.

59. Clemency of Omar:

The Christian sites were spared, but upon the temple-site, which up to this had apparently been occupied by no important Christian building but was of peculiar sanctity to the Moslems through Mohammed’s alleged visions there, a wooden mosque was erected, capable of accommodating 3,000 worshippers. This was replaced in 691 AD by the magnificent Kubbet es Sakah], or "Dome of the Rock," built by ‘Abd’ul Malek, the 10th khalif. For some centuries the relations of the Christians and Moslems appear to have been friendly: the historian el Muqaddasi, writing in 985, describes the Christians and Jews as having the upper hand in Jerusalem. In 969 Palestine passed into the power of the Egyptian dynasty, and in 1010 her ruler, the mad Hakim, burnt many of the churches, which, however, were restored in a poor way.

60. The Seljuk Turks and Their Cruelties:

In 1077 Isar el Atsis, a leader of the Seljuk Turks conquered Palestine from the North, drove out the Egyptians and massacred 3,000 of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The cruelty of the Turks—in contrast, be it noted, with the conduct of the Arab Moslems—was the immediate cause of the Crusades. In 1098 the city was retaken by the Egyptian Arabs, and the following year was again captured after a 40 days’ seige by the soldiers of the First Crusade, and Godfrey de Bouillon became the first king. Great building activity marked the next 80 peaceful years of Latin rule: numbers of churches were built, but, until toward the end of this period, the walls were neglected.

61. Crusaders Capture the City in 1099:

In 1177 they were repaired, but 10 years later failed to resist the arms of the victorious Saladin. The city surrendered, but City the inhabitants were spared. In 1192 Saladin repaired the walls, but in 1219 they were dismantled by orders of the sultan of Damascus. In 1229 the emperor Frederick II of Germany obtained the Holy City by treaty, on condition that he did not restore the fortifications, a stipulation which, being broken by the inhabitants 10 years later, brought down upon them the vengeance of the emir of Kerak. Nevertheless, in 1243 the city was again restored to the Christians unconditionally.

62. The Kharizimians:

The following year, however, the Kharizimian Tartars—a wild, savage horde from Central Asia—burst into Palestine, carrying destruction before them; they seized Jerusalem, massacred the people, and rifled the tombs of the Latin kings. Three years later they were ejected from Palestine by the Egyptians who in their turn retained it until, in 1517, they were conquered by the Ottoman Turks, who still hold it. The greatest of their sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, built the present walls in 1542.

63. Ottoman Turks Obtain the City (1517 AD):

In 1832 Mohammed Ali with his Egyptian forces came and captured the city, but 2 years later the fellahin rose against his rule and for a time actually gained possession of the city, except the citadel, making their entrance through the main drain. The besieged citadel was relieved by the arrival of Ibrahim Pasha from Egypt with reinforcements. The city and land were restored to the Ottoman Turks by the Great Powers in 1840.

X. Modern Jerusalem.

1. Jews and "Zionism":

The modern city of Jerusalem has about 75,000 inhabitants, of whom over two-thirds are Jews. Until about 50 years ago the city was confined within its 16th-century walls, the doors of its gates locked every night, and even here there were considerable areas unoccupied. Since then, and particularly during the last 25 years, there has been a rapid growth of suburbs to the North, Northwest, and West of the old city. This has been largely due to the steady stream of immigrant Jews from every part of the world, particularly from Russia, Romania, Yemin, Persia, Bokhara, the Caucasus, and from all parts of the Turkish empire. This influx of Jews, a large proportion of whom are extremely poor, has led to settlements or "colonies" of various classes of Jews being erected all over the plateau to the North—an area never built upon before—but also on other sides of the city. With the exception of the Bokhara Colony, which has some fine buildings and occupies a lofty and salubrious situation, most of the settlements are mean cottages or ugly almshouses. With the exception of a couple of hospitals, there is no Jewish public building of any architectural pretensions. The "Zionist" movement, which has drawn so many Jews to Jerusalem, cannot be called a success, as far as this city is concerned, as the settlers and their children as a rule either steadily deteriorate physically and morally—from constant attacks of malaria, combined with pauperism and want of work—or, in the case of the energetic and enlightened, they emigrate—to America especially; this emigration has been much stimulated of late by the new law whereby Jews and Christians must now, like Moslems, do military service.

The foreign Christian population represents all nations and all sects; the Roman church is rapidly surpassing all other sects or religions in the importance of their buildings. The Russians are well represented by their extensive enclosure, which includes a large cathedral, a hospital, extensive hospice in several blocks, and a handsome residence for the consul-general, and by the churches and other buildings on the Mount of Olives. The Germans have a successful colony belonging to the "Temple" sect to the West of Jerusalem near the railway station, and are worthily represented by several handsome buildings, e.g. the Protestant "Church of the Redeemer," built on the site and on the ground plan of a fine church belonging to the Knights of John, the new (Roman Catholic) Church of the Dormition on "Mount Zion," with an adjoining Benedictine convent, a very handsome Roman Catholic hospice outside the Damascus Gate, the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria Sanatorium on the Mount of Olives, and a Protestant Johanniter Hospice in the city, a large general hospital and a leper hospital, a consulate and two large schools. In influence, both secular and religious, the Germans have rapidly gained ground in the last 2 decades. British influence has much diminished, relatively.

2. Christian Buildings and Institutions:

The British Ophthalmic Hospital, belonging to the "Order of the Knights of John," the English Mission Hospital, belonging to the London Jews Society, the Bishop Gobat’s School and English College connected with the Church Missionary Society, 3 Anglican churches, of which the handsome George’s Collegiate Church adjoins the residence of the Anglican bishop, and a few small schools comprise the extent of public buildings connected with British societies. France and the Roman Catholic church are worthily represented by the Dominican monastery and seminary connected with the handsome church of Stephen—rebuilt on the plan of an old Christian church—by the Ratisbon (Jesuit) Schools, the Hospital of Louis, the hospice and Church of Augustine, and the monastery and seminary of the "white fathers" or Freres de la mission algerienne, whose headquarters center round the beautifully restored Church of Anne. Not far from here are the convent and school of the Saeurs de Sion, at the Ecce Homo Church. Also inside the walls near the New Gate is the residence of the Latin Patriarch—a cardinal of the Church of Rome—with a church, the school of the Freres de la doctrine chretienne, and the schools, hospital and convent of the Franciscans, who are recognized among their co-religionists as the "parish priests" in the city, having been established there longer than the numerous other orders.

All the various nationalities are under their respective consuls and enjoy extra-territorial rights. Besides the Turkish post-office, which is very inefficiently managed, the Austrians, Germans, French, Russians and Italians all have post-offices open to all, with special "Levant" stamps. The American mail is delivered at the French post-office. There are four chief banks, French, German, Ottoman and Anglo-Palestinian (Jewish). As may be supposed, on account of the demand for land for Jewish settlements or for Christian schools or convents, the price of such property has risen enormously. Unfortunately in recent years all owners of land—and Moslems have not been slow to copy the foreigners—have taken to enclosing their property with high and unsightly walls, greatly spoiling both the walks around the city and the prospects from many points of view. The increased development of carriage traffic has led to considerable dust in the dry season, and mud in winter, as the roads are metaled with very soft limestone. The Jerus-Jaffa Railway (a French company), 54 miles long, which was opened in 1892, has steadily increased its traffic year by year, and is now a very paying concern. There is no real municipal water-supply, and no public sewers for the new suburbs—though the old city is drained by a leaking, ill-constructed medieval sewer, which opens just below the Jewish settlement in the Kidron and runs down the Wady en Nauru. A water-supply, new Sewers, electric trams and electric lights for the streets, are all much-talked-of improvements. There are numerous hotels, besides extensive accommodations in the religious hospices, and no less than 15 hospitals and asylums.


This is enormous, but of very unequal value and much of it out of date. For all purposes the best book of reference is Jerusalem from the Earliest Times to AD 70, 2 volumes, by Principal G.A. Smith. It contains references to all the literature. To this book and to its author it is impossible for the present writer adequately to express his indebtedness, and no attempt at acknowledgment in detail has been made in this article. In supplement of the above, Jerusalem, by Dr. Selah Merrill, and Jerusalem in Bible Times, by Professor Lewis B. Paton, will be found useful. The latter is a condensed account, especially valuable for its illustrations and its copious references. Of the articles in the recent Bible Dictionaries on Jerusalem, that by Conder in HDB is perhaps the most valuable. Of guide-books, Baedeker’s Guide to Palestine and Syria (1911), by Socin and Benzinger, and Barnabe Meistermann’s (R.C.) New Guide to the Holy Land (1909), will be found useful; also Hanauer’s Walks about Jerusalem.

On Geology, Climate and Water-Supply:

Hull’s "Memoir on Physical Geography and Geology of Arabian Petrea, Palestine, and Adjoining Districts," PEF; and Blankenhorn," Geology of the Nearer Environs of Jerusalem," ZDPV, 1905; Chaplin, "Climate of Jerusalem," PEFS, 1883; Glaisher, "Meteorol. Observations in Palestine," special pamphlet of the Palestine Exploration Fund; Hilderscheid, "Die Niederschlagsverhaltnisse Palestine in alter u. neuer Zeit," ZDPV (1902); Huntington, Palestine and Its Transformation (1911); Andrew Watt, "Climate in Hebron," etc., Journal of the Scottish Meteorological Society (1900-11); Schick, "Die Wasserversorgung der Stadt Jerusalem," ZDPV, 1878; Wilson "Water Supply of Jerusalem," Proceedings of the Victoria Institute, 1906; Masterman, in Biblical World, 1905.

On Archaeology and Topography:

PEF, volume on Jerusalem, with accompanying maps and plans; Clermont-Ganneau, Archaeological Researches, I, 1899 (PEF); William, Holy City (1849); Robinson, Biblical Researches (1856); Wilson, Recovery of Jerusalem (1871); Warren Underground Jerusalem (1876); Vincent, Underground Jerusalem (1911); Guthe, "Ausgrabungen in Jerusalem," ZDPV, V; Bliss and Dickie, Excavations in Jerusalem (1894-97); Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels (1903); Mitchell, "The Wall of Jerusalem according to the Book of Neh," JBL (1903); Wilson, Golgotha and the Holy Sepulchre (1906); Kuemmel, Materialien z. Topographie des alten Jerusalem; also numerous reports in the PEFS; Zeitschrift des deutschen Palestine Vereins; and the Revue biblique.

On History:

Besides Bible, Apocrypha, works of Josephus, and History of Tacitus: Besant and Palmer, History of Jerusalem; Conder, Judas Maccabeus and Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem; Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems (1890); C.F. Kent, Biblical Geography and History (1911). Bevan, Jerusalem under the High-Priests; Watson, The Story of Jerusalem.

E. W. G. Masterman


(Hierousalem kaine): This name occurs in Re 21:2 (21:10, "holy city"). The conception is based on prophecies which predict a glorious future to Jerusalem after the judgment (Isa 52:1). In Revelation, however, it is not descriptive of any actual locality on earth, but allegorically depicts the final state of the church ("the bride," "the wife of the Lamb," Re 21:2,9), when the new heaven and the new earth shall have come into being. The picture is drawn from a twofold point of view: the new Jerusalem is a restoration of Paradise (Re 21:6; 22:1,2,14); it is also the ideal of theocracy realized (Re 21:3,12,14,22). The latter viewpoint explains the peculiar representation that the city descends "out of heaven from God" (Re 21:2,10), which characterizes it as, on the one hand, a product of God’s supernatural workmanship, and as, on the other hand, the culmination of the historic process of redemption. In other New Testament passages, where theocratic point of view is less prominent, the antitypical Jerusalem appears as having its seat in heaven instead of, as here, coming down from heaven to earth (compare Ga 4:26; Heb 11:10; 12:22).


Geerhardus Vos


je-roo’-sha (yerusha’," taken possession of," i.e. "married"): In 2Ki 15:33 =" Jerushah" (yerushah, same meaning) of 2Ch 27:1, the mother of King Jotham of Judah. Zadok was her father’s name; he may be the priest of 1Ch 6:12 (Hebrew 5:38).


je-sha’-ya, je-shi’-a

(a) yesha‘yahu;

(b) yesha‘yah, "deliverance of Yah"; (2) (3) below have form (a), the others form (b):

(1) Son of Hananiah, and grandson of Zerubbabel, according to 1Ch 3:21, the King James Version "Jesaiah."

But commentators follow Hebrew (and the Revised Version margin) in the first part of the verse, and Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac in the second part, thus reading, "And the son of Hananiah (was) Pelatiah, and Jeshaiah (was) his son, and Arnan his son," etc., thus making Jeshaiah a grandson of Hananiah.

(2) A "son" of Jeduthun, and like him a temple musician; head of the family of that name (1Ch 25:3,15).

(3) A Levite, ancestor of Shelemoth, one of David’s treasurers (1Ch 26:25).

(4) A descendant of Elam; he went with Ezra from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezr 8:7) =" Jesias" (Revised Version), "Josias" (the King James Version), 1 Esdras 8:33.

(5) A descendant of Merari and a contemporary of Ezra (Ezr 8:19) =" Osaias" of 1 Esdras 8:48.

(6) A Benjamite (Ne 11:7), the King James Version "Jesaiah."

David Francis Roberts


jesh’-a-na, je-sha’-na (yeshanah): A town named with Bethel and Ephron among the places taken by Abijah from Jeroboam (2Ch 13:19). Most scholars are agreed that the same name should be read instead of ha-shen, in 1Sa 7:12. It is probably identical with the Isanas, of Josephus (Ant., XIV, xv, 12). It is represented by the modern ‘Ain Sinia, 3 1/4 miles North of Bethel, with a spring and interesting ancient remains.


jesh-a-re’-la (yesar’elah, meaning doubtful): One of the (or probably a family of) Levitical musicians (1Ch 25:14), called "Asharelah" in verse 2. The names should be written "Asarelah" and "Jesarelah."


je-sheb’-e-ab (yeshebh’abh, meaning uncertain): A Levite of the 14th course (1Ch 24:13). Kittel and Gray (HPN, 24) read with Septuagint, A, "Ishbaal"; the name is omitted in Septuagint (Codex Vaticanus) and the change in Massoretic Text as well as the omission in Septuagint may be due to the word ba‘al forming part of the name. Compare JERUBBESHETH.


je’-sher (yesher, or yesher, "uprightness"): A son of Caleb (1Ch 2:18).


je-she’-mon, jesh’-i-mon (ha-yeshimon, "the desert," and in the Revised Version (British and American) so translated but in the King James Version, Nu 21:20; 23:28; 1Sa 23:19,24; 26:1,3, "Jeshimon" as a place-name. In Numbers, the Septuagint reads he eremos, "the desert"; in 1 Samuel, the Septuagint reads Iessaimon): In these passages probably two districts are referred to:

(1) The "desert" North of the Dead Sea, which was overlooked from Pisgah (Nu 21:20; 23:28). This is the bare and sterile land, saturated with salt, lying on each side of the Jordan North of the Dead Sea, where for miles practically no vegetable life can exist.

(2) The sterile plateau West of the steep cliffs bordering the western shores of the Dead Sea. Here between the lower slopes of the Judean hills, where thousands of Bedouin live and herd their flocks, and the more fertile borders of the sea with their oases (‘Ain Feshkhah, ‘Ain Jidy, etc.), is a broad strip of utterly waterless land, the soft chalky hills of which are, for all but a few short weeks, destitute of practically any vegetation. The Hill of Hachilah was on the edge of this desert (1Sa 23:19; 26:1,3), and the Arabah was to its south (1Sa 23:24). It is possible that the references in Numbers may also apply to this region.

The word "Jeshimon" (yeshimon) is often used as a common noun in referring to the desert of Sinai (De 32:10; Ps 78:40; 106:14; Isa 43:19, etc.), and except in the first two of these references, when we have "wilderness," it is always translated "desert." Although used in 7 passages in poetical parallelism to midhbar, translated "wilderness," it really means a much more hopeless place; in a midhbar animals can be pastured, but a yeshimon is a desolate waste.

E. W. G. Masterman


je-shish’-a-i (yeshishay, "aged"): A Gadite chief (and family?) (1Ch 5:14).


jesh-o-ha’-ya, jesh-o-hi’-a (yeshochayah, meaning unknown): A prince in Simeon (1Ch 4:36).


jesh’-u-a, je-shu’-a (yeshua‘): A place occupied by the children of Judah after their return from captivity (Ne 11:26), evidently, from the places named with it, in the extreme South of Judah. It may correspond with the Shema of Jos 15:26, and possibly to the Sheba of 19:2. The site may be Khirbet Sa‘weh, a ruin upon a prominent hill, Tell es Sa‘weh, 12 miles East-Northeast of Beersheba. The hill is surrounded by a wall of large blocks of stone. PEF, III, 409-10, Sh XXV.


jesh’-u-a, je-shu’-a (yeshua‘, "Yahweh is deliverance" or "opulence"; compare JOSHUA):

(1) the King James Version "Jeshuah," head of the 9th course of priests, and possibly of "the house of Jeshua" (1Ch 24:11; Ezr 2:36; Ne 7:39).

(2) A Levite of Hezekiah’s time (2Ch 31:15).

(3) Son of Jozadak = Joshua the high priest (Ezr 2:2; 3:2,8; 4:3; 5:2; 10:18; Ne 7:7; 12:1,7,10,26); see JOSHUA (4) =" Jesus" (1 Esdras 5:48 and Sirach 49:12).

(4) A man of Pahath-moab, some of whose descendants returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:6; Ne 7:11) =" Jesus" (1 Esdras 58).

(5) Head of a Levitical house which had oversight of the workmen in the temple (Ezr 2:40; 3:9; Ne 7:43). He is mentioned again in Ne 8:7 as taking part in explaining the Torah to the people, in Ne 9:4 f (compare 12:8) as leading in the worship, and in 10:9 (Hebrew 10) as sealing the covenant; this Jeshua is called son of Azaniah (Ne 10:9). To these references should be added probably Ne 12:24, where commentators read, "Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel" for "Jeshua the son of Kadmiel." Perhaps Jozabad (Ezr 8:33) is a "son" of this same Jeshua; compare Ezr 8:33 = 1 Esdras 8:63, where the King James Version is "Jesu," the Revised Version (British and American) "Jesus." He is the same as Jessue (the King James Version), Jesus (Revised Version) (1 Esdras 5:26).

(6) Father of Ezer, a repairer of the wall (Ne 3:19).

(7) JOSHUA, son of Nun (Ne 8:17) (which see).

David Francis Roberts


je-shu’-run, jesh’-u-run (yeshurun, "upright one," De 32:15; 33:5,26; Isa 44:2): Septuagint translates it "the beloved one" egapemenos, the perfect participle passive of agapao), and in Isa 44:2 adds "Israel"; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) has dilectus in De 32:15, elsewhere rectissimus; Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion have "upright." For the form, Duhm compares zebhulun, Zebulun.

(1) The name used to be explained as a diminutive form, a pet name, and some, e.g. Cornill, Schultz (Old Testament Theology, English translation, II, 29, note 12) still explain it so, "the righteous little people." But there is no evidence that the ending -un had a diminutive force.

(2) Most moderns take it as a poetical or ideal title of Israel, derived from yashar, "upright"; it is held to contain a tacit reference to the word Israel (yisra’el), of which the first three consonants are almost the same as those of "Jeshurun"; in Nu 23:10 the term "the righteous ones" (yesharim) is supposed to contain a similar reference. Most commentators compare also "the Book of Jashar," and it has been held that "Jashar" is similarly a name by which Israel is called.


Following Bacher (ZATW, 1885, 161 ff), commentators hold that in Isaiah this new name, a coinage due to the author of Second Isaiah and adopted in Deuteronomy, stands in contrast to Jacob, "the supplanter," as his name was explained by the Hebrews (compare Ho 12:2-4). Israel is here given a new name, "the upright, pious one," and with the new name goes new chance in life, to live up to its meaning. Driver (Deuteronomy, 361) says that in De 32:15 "where the context is of declension from its ideal (it is) applied reproachfully. ‘Nomen Recti pro Israele ponens, ironice eos perstringit qui a rectitudine defecerant’ (Calv.). Elsewhere it is used as a title of honor." the King James Version has "Jesurun" in Isa 44:2.

David Francis Roberts


je-si’-a (1Ch 23:20 the King James Version).



je-si’-as (Iesias; the King James Version Josias (1 Esdras 8:33)): Corresponding to Jeshaiah, son of Athaliah (Ezr 8:7).


je-sim’-i-el (yesimi’el, "God establishes"): A prince of Simeon (1Ch 4:36).


jes’-e (yishay, meaning doubtful; according to Gesenius it =" wealthy"; Olshausen, Gram., sections 277 f, conjectures yesh yah, "Yahweh exists"; Wellhausen (1Sa 14:49) explains it as ‘abhishay (see ABISHAI); Iessai; Ru 4:17,22; 1Sa 16; 17; 20; 22; 25:10; 2Sa 20:1; 23:1; 1Ki 12:16; 1Ch 10:14; 12:18; Ps 72:20; Isa 11:1,10 ( = Ro 15:12)); Mt 1:5,6; Ac 13:22): Son of Obed, grandson of Boaz, and father of King David. The grouping of the references to Jesse in 1Sa is bound up with that of the grouping of the whole narrative of David and Saul. See SAMUEL, BOOKS OF. There seem to be three main veins in the narrative, so far as Jesse is concerned.

(1) In 1Sa 16:1-13, where Jesse is called the Bethlehemite. Samuel is sent to seek among Jesse’s sons successor to Saul.

Both Samuel and Jesse fail to discern at first Yahweh’s choice, Samuel thinking that it would be the eldest son (1Sa 16:6), while Jesse had not thought it worth while to call the youngest to the feast (1Sa 16:11).

(2) (a) In 1Sa 16:14-23, Saul is mentally disturbed, and is advised to get a harpist. David "the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite" is recommended by a courtier, and Saul sends to Jesse for David.

"And Jesse took ten loaves (so emend and translate, and not as the Revised Version (British and American), "an ass laden with bread"), and a (skin) bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them" to Saul as a present with David, who becomes a courtier of Saul’s with his father’s consent.

(b) The next mention of Jesse is in three contemptuous references by Saul to David as "the son of Jesse" in 1Sa 20:27,30,31, part of the quarrel-scene between Saul and Jonathan. (But it is not quite certain if 1Sa 20 belongs to the same source as 16:14-23.) In answer to the first reference, Jonathan calls his friend "David," and Saul repeats the phrase "the son of Jesse," abusing Jonathan personally (1Sa 20:30, where the meaning is uncertain). The reference to David as "the son of Jesse" here and in the following verse is contemptuous, not because of any reproach that might attach itself to Jesse, but, as Budde remarks, because "an upstart is always contemptuously referred to under his father’s name" in courts and society. History repeats itself!

(c) Further references of a like kind are in the passage, 1Sa 22:6-23, namely, in 22:7,8,13 by Saul, and repeated by Doeg in 22:9.

(d) The final one of this group is in 1Sa 25:10, where Nabal sarcastically asks "Who is David ? and who is the son of Jesse?"

(3) The parts of 1Sa 17-18:5 which are omitted by Septuagint B, i.e. 17:12-31,41,48b, 50,55-18:6a. Here Jesse is mentioned as "an Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah" (17:12, not "that" Ephrathite, which is a grammatically impossible translation of the Massoretic Text), Ephrath or Ephrathah being another name for Bethlehem, or rather for the district. He is further said to have eight sons (17:12), of whom the three eldest had followed Saul to the war (17:13).

Jesse sends David, the shepherd, to his brothers with provisions (1Sa 17:17). Afterward David, on being brought to Saul and asked who he is, answers, "I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite" (1Sa 17:58). Jesse is also described (1Sa 17:12) as being "in the days of Saul an old man, advanced in years" (so emend and translate, not as the Revised Version (British and American), "stricken in years among men"). The mention of his having 8 sons in 1Sa 17:12 is not in agreement with 1Ch 2:13-15, which gives only 7 sons with two sisters, but where Syriac gives 8, adding, from 27:18, Elihu which Massoretic Text has there probably by corruption (Curtis, Chronicles, 88). 1Sa 16:10 should be translated" and Jesse made his 7 sons to pass before Samuel" (not as the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version, "seven of his sons"). Budde (Kurz. Hand-Komm., "Samuel," 114) holds 1Sa 16:1-13 to be a late Midrash, and (ibid., 123 f) omits

(a) "that" in 17:12;

(b) also "and he had 8 sons" as due to a wrong inference from 16:10;

(c) the names of the 3 eldest in 17:13;

(d) 17:14b; he then changes 17:15a, and reads thus: (12) "Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem-Judah, whose name was Jesse who was ....( years) old at the time of Saul. (13) And the 3 eldest sons of Jesse had marched with Saul to the war, (14) and David was the youngest, (15) and David had remained to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. (16) Now the Philistines came," etc.

According to all these narratives in 1 Samuel, whether all 3 be entirely independent of one another or not, Jesse had land in Bethlehem, probably outside the town wall, like Boaz (see BOAZ) his grandfather (Ru 4:17). In 1Sa 22:3,1 David entrusts his father and mother to the care of the king of Moab, but from 20:29 some have inferred that Jesse was dead (although most critics assign 22:3 at any rate to the same stratum as chapter 20).

Jonathan tells Saul that David wanted to attend a family sacrificial feast at Bethlehem (1Sa 20:29). Massoretic Text reads, "And he, my brother, has commanded me," whereas we should probably read with Septuagint, "and my brethren have commanded me," i.e. the members of the clan, as we have farther on in the verse, "Let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren." As to Jesse’s daughters, see ABIGAIL; NAHASH.

(4) Of the other references to Jesse, the most noteworthy is that in Isa 11:1: "There shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit," i.e. out of Jesse’s roots (compare Re 5:5). "Why Jesse and not David?" asks Duhm; and he answers, "Because the Messiah will be a second David, rather than a descendant of David." Marti explains it to mean that he will be, not from David, but from a collateral line of descent. Duhm’s explanation suggests a parallelism between David and Christ, of whom the former may be treated as a type similar to Aaron and Melchizedek in He. Saul might pour contempt upon "the son of Jesse," but Isaiah has given Jesse here a name above all Hebrew names, and thus does Providence mock "society."


David Francis Roberts


jest’-ing: Used from Tyndale down as the translation of eutrapelia (Eph 5:4). Aristotle uses the original in his Ethics iv.14 as an equivalent of "quick-witted," from its root meaning "something easily turned," adding that, since the majority of people love excessive jesting, the word is apt to be degraded. This is the case here, where it clearly has a flavor of the coarse or licentious.








je-su’-run, jes’-u-run.



je’-zus (Iesous, for yehoshua‘):

(1) Joshua, son of Nun (the King James Version Ac 7:45; Heb 4:8; compare 1 Macc 2:55; 2 Esdras 7:37).

(2) (3) High priest and Levite.

See JESHUA, 2, 5.

(4) Son of Sirach.


(5) An ancestor of Jesus (Lu 3:29, the King James Version "Jose").

(6) (7) See the next three articles.


je’-zus krist (Iesous Christos):





1. In General

2. Denial of Existence of Jesus

3. Extra-Christian Notices

4. The Gospels

(1) The Synoptics

(2) The Fourth Gospel


1. Both Gentile and Jewish

2. Old Testament Preparation

3. Post-exilic Preparation


1. The Land

Its Divisions

2. Political Situation

Changes in Territory

3. The Religious Sects

(1) The Scribes

(2) The Pharisees

(3) The Sadducees

(4) The Essenes


1. Date of the Birth of Jesus

2. Date of His Baptism

3. Length of Ministry

4. Date of Christ’s Death



1. The "Modern" Attitude

2. Supernatural in the Gospels


1. Reserve of Jesus and Modern Criticism

2. A Growing Revelation


1. The Kingdom—Present or Future?

2. Apocalyptic Beliefs


1. Denial of Christ’s Moral Perfection

2. Sinlessness and the Messianic Claim


1. Divisions of the History

2. Not a Complete "Life"



1. Hidden Piety in Judaism

2. Birth of the Baptist

3. The Annunciation and Its Results

4. The Birth at Bethlehem

(1) The Census of Quirinius

(2) Jesus Born

5. The Incidents of the Infancy

(1) The Visit of the Shepherds

(2) The Circumcision and Presentation in the Temple

(3) Visit of the Magi

6. Flight to Egypt and Return to Nazareth

7. Questions and Objections

(1) The Virgin Birth

(2) The Genealogies


1. The Human Development

2. Jesus in the Temple


1. The Preaching of John

The Coming Christ

2. Jesus Is Baptized


1. Temptation Follows Baptism

2. Nature of the Temptation

3. Stages of the Temptation

Its Typical Character



1. The Synoptics and John

2. Threefold Witness of the Baptist


1. Spiritual Accretion

2. "Son of Man" and "Son of God"


1. The First Miracle

2. The First Passover, and Cleansing of the Temple

3. The Visit of Nicodemus

4. Jesus and John


1. Withdrawal to Galilee

2. The Living Water

3. The True Worship

4. Work and Its Reward


1. The Scene

2. The Time

First Period—From the Beginning of the Ministry in Galilee till the Mission of the Twelve


1. Healing of Nobleman’s Son

2. The Visit to Nazareth

3. Call of the Four Disciples

4. At Capernaum

a) Christ’s Teaching

b) The Demoniac in the Synagogue

Demon-Possession: Its Reality

c) Peter’s Wife’s Mother

d) The Eventful Evening


1. The First Circuit

2. Capernaum Incidents

a) Cure of the Paralytic

b) Call and Feast of Matthew

3. The Unnamed Jerusalem Feast

a) The Healing at Bethesda

b) Son and Father

c) The Threefold Witness

4. Sabbath Controversies

a) Plucking of the Ears of Grain

b) The Man with the Withered Hand

c) Withdrawal to the Sea

5. The Choosing of the Twelve

a) The Apostolic Function

b) The Lists

c) The Men


1. The Sermon on the Mount

a) The Blessings

b) True Righteousness—the Old and the New Law

c) Religion and Hypocrisy—True and False Motive

d) The True Good and Cure for Care

e) Relation to the World’s Evil—the Conclusion

2. Intervening Incidents

a) Healing of the Centurion’s Servant

b) The Widow of Nain’s Son Raised

c) Embassy of John’s Disciples—Christ and His Generation

d) The First Anointing—the Woman who Was a Sinner

3. Second Galilean Circuit—Events at Capernaum

a) Galilee Revisited

b) Cure of Demoniac—Discourse on Blasphemy

The Sign of Jonah

c) Christ’s Mother and Brethren

4. Teaching in Parables

Parables of the Kingdom


1. Crossing of the Lake—Stilling of the Storm

a) Aspirants for Discipleship

b) The Storm Calmed

2. The Gadarene (Gerasene) Demoniac

3. Jairus’ Daughter Raised—Woman with Issue of Blood

a) Jairus’ Appeal and Its Result

b) The Afflicted Woman Cured

4. Incidents of Third Circuit

5. The Twelve Sent Forth—Discourse of Jesus

a) The Commission

b) Counsels and Warnings

Second Period—After the Mission of the Twelve till the Departure from Galilee


1. The Murder of the Baptist and Herod’s Alarms

2. The Feeding of the Five Thousand

3. Walking on the Sea

4. Gennesaret—Discourse on the Bread of Life

Peter’s First Confession


1. Jesus and Tradition—Outward and Inward Purity

2. Retirement to Tyre and Sidon—the Syrophoenician Woman

3. At Decapolis—New Miracles

a) The Deaf Man

b) Feeding of the Four Thousand

4. Leaven of the Pharisees, etc.—Cure of Blind Man

5. At Caesarea Philippi—the Great Confession—First Announcement of Passion

6. The Transfiguration—the Epileptic Boy


1. Galilee and Capernaum

a) Second Announcement of the Passion

b) The Temple Tax

c) Discourse on Greatness and Forgiveness

(1) Greatness in Humility

(2) Tolerance

(3) The Erring Brother

(4) Parable of Unmerciful Servant

2. The Feast of Tabernacles—Discourses, etc.

a) The Private Journey—Divided Opinions

b) Christ’s Self-Witness

c) The Woman Taken in Adultery

d) The Cure of the Blind Man.

e) The Good Shepherd

Chronological Note



1. Rejected by Samaria

2. Mission of the Seventy

3. The Lawyer’s Question—Parable of Good Samaritan

4. Discourses, Parables, and Miracles

a) Original to Luke

b) The Infirm Woman—the Dropsied Man

c) Parable of the Great Supper

d) Counting the Cost

5. Martha and Mary

6. Feast of the Dedication


1. Parables of Lost Sheep, Lost Piece of Silver and Prodigal Son

2. Parables of the Unjust Steward and the Rich Man and Lazarus

3. The Summons to Bethany—Raising of Lazarus


1. Retreat to Ephraim

2. The Journey Resumed

3. Cure of the Lepers

4. Pharisaic Questionings

a) Divorce

b) Coming of the Kingdom

c) Parable of the Unjust Judge

5. The Spirit of the Kingdom

a) Parable of Pharisee and Publican

b) Blessing of the Babies

c) The Rich Young Ruler

6. Third Announcement of the Passion

7. The Rewards of the Kingdom

a) Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

b) The Sons of Zebedee

8. Jesus at Jericho

a) The Cure of Bartimeus

b) Zaccheus the Publican

c) Parable of the Pounds

Arrival at Bethany



1. The Chronology

2. The Anointing at Bethany

3. The Entry into Jerusalem

Jesus Weeping over Jerusalem—Return to Bethany

4. Cursing of the Fig Tree—Second Cleansing of the Temple

Were There Two Cleansings?

5. The Eventful Tuesday

a) The Demand for Authority—Parables

The Two Sons—the Wicked Husbandmen—the Marriage of the King’s Son

b) Ensnaring Questions, etc.

(1) Tribute to Caesar—the Resurrection—the Great Commandment

(2) David’s Son and Lord

c) The Great Denunciation

d) The Widow’s Offering

e) The Visit of the Greeks

f) Discourse on the Last Things

g) Parables of Ten Virgins, Talents and Last Judgment

6. A Day of Retirement

7. An Atmosphere of Plotting—Judas and the Priests


1. The Chronology

2. The Last Supper

a) The Preparation

b) Dispute about Precedence—Washing of the Disciples’ Feet—Departure of Judas

c) The Lord’s Supper

d) The Last Discourses—Intercessory Prayer

e) The Departure and Warning

3. Gethsemane—the Betrayal and Arrest

a) Agony in the Garden

b) Betrayal by Judas—Jesus Arrested

4. Trial before the Sanhedrin

Legal and Historical Aspects

a) Before Annas and Caiaphas—the Unjust Judgment

b) The Threefold Denial

c) Remorse and Suicide of Judas

5. Trial before Pilate

a) The Attitude of the Accusers

b) The Attitude of Pilate

(1) Jesus Sent to Herod

(2) "Not This Man, but Barabbas"

(3) "Ecce Homo"

(4) A Last Appeal—Pilate Yields

c) The Attitude of Jesus


1. The Crucifixion

a) On the Way

b) Between the Thieves—the Superscription—the Seamless Robe

c) The Mocking—the Penitent Thief—Jesus and His Mother

d) The Great Darkness—the Cry of Desertion

e) Last Words and Death of Jesus

f) The Spear-Thrust—Earthquake and Rending of the Veil

2. The Burial

a) The New Tomb

b) The Guard of Soldiers


The Resurrection a Fundamental Fact

1. The Resurrection

a) The Easter Morning—the Open Tomb

(1) The Angel and the Keepers

(2) Visit of the Women

(3) The Angelic Message

b) Visit of Peter and John—Appearance to Mary

Report to the Disciples—Incredulity

c) Other Easter-Day Appearances (Emmaus, Jerusalem)

d) The Second Appearance to the Eleven—the Doubt of Thomas

e) The Galilean Appearances

(1) At the Sea of Tiberias—the Draught of Fish—Peter’s Restoration

(2) On the Mountain—the Great Commission—Baptism

f) Appearance to James

g) The Last Meeting

2. The Ascension


1. After the Ascension

2. Revelation through the Spirit

3. Gospels and Epistles

4. Fact of Christ’s Lordship

5. Significance of Christ’s Person

6. Significance of the Cross and Resurrection

7. Hope of the Advent



Jesus Christ: The Founder of the Christian religion; the promised Messiah and Saviour of the world; the Lord and Head of the Christian church.

I. The Names.

1. Jesus:

(Iesous) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew "Joshua" (yehoshua‘), meaning "Yahweh is salvation." It stands therefore in the Septuagint and Apocrypha for "Joshua," and in Ac 7:45 and Heb 4:8 likewise represents the Old Testament Joshua; hence, in the Revised Version (British and American) is in these passages rendered "Joshua." In Mt 1:21 the name as commanded by the angel to be given to the son of Mary, "for it is he that shall save his people from their sins" (see below on "Nativity"). It is the personal name of the Lord in the Gospels and the Acts, but generally in the Epistles appears in combination with "Christ" or other appellative (alone in Ro 3:26; 4:24; 1Co 12:3; 2Co 11:4; Php 2:10; 1Th 4:14; Heb 7:22; 10:19, etc.).

2. Christ:

(Christos) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew "Messiah" (mashiach; compare in the New Testament, Joh 1:41; 4:25, "Messiah"), meaning "anointed" (see MESSIAH). It designates Jesus as the fulfiller of the Messianic hopes of the Old Testament and of the Jewish people. It will be seen below that Jesus Himself made this claim. After the resurrection it became the current title for Jesus in the apostolic church. Most frequently in the Epistles He is called "Jesus Christ," sometimes "Christ Jesus" (Ro 8:1,2,39; 1Co 1:2,30; 4:15; Eph 1:1; Php 1:1; Col 1:4,28 the King James Version; 1Th 2:14, etc.), often "Christ" alone (Ro 1:16 the King James Version; Ro 5:6,8; 6:4,8,9; 8:10, etc.). In this case "Christ" has acquired the force of a proper name. Very frequently the term is associated with "Lord" (kurios)—"the (or "our") Lord Jesus Christ" (Ac 11:17; 15:11 the King James Version; Ac 16:31 the King James Version; Ac 20:21; 28:31; Ro 1:7; 5:1,11; 13:14; 1Co 16:23, etc.).

II. Order of Treatment.

In studying, as it is proposed to do in this article, the earthly history of Jesus and His place in the faith of the apostolic church, it will be convenient to pursue the following order:

First, as introductory to the whole study, certain questions relating to the sources of our knowledge of Jesus, and to the preparation for, and circumstances of, His historical appearance, invite careful attention (Part I).

Next, still as preliminary to the proper narrative of the life of Jesus, it is desirable to consider certain problems arising out of the presentation of that life in the Gospels with which modern thought is more specially concerned, as determining the attitude in which the narratives are approached. Such are the problems of the miracles, the Messiahship, the sinless character and supernatural claims of Jesus (Part II).

The way is then open for treatment in order of the actual events of Christ’s life and ministry, so far as recorded. These fall into many stages, from His nativity and baptism till His death, resurrection and ascension (Part III).

A final division will deal with Jesus as the exalted Lord in the aspects in which He is presented in the teaching of the Epistles and remaining writings of the New Testament (Part IV).


I. The Sources.

1. In General:

The principal, and practically the only sources for our knowledge of Jesus Christ are the four Canonical Gospels—distinction being made in these between the first three (Synoptic) Gospels, and the Gospel of John. Nothing, either in the few notices of Christ in non-Christian authors, or in the references in the other books of the New Testament, or in later Christian literature, adds to the information which the Gospels already supply. The so-called apocryphal Gospels are worthless as authorities (see under the word); the few additional sayings of Christ (compare Ac 20:35) found in outside writings are of doubtful genuineness (compare a collection of these in Westcott’s Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Appendix C; see also LOGIA).

2. Denial of Existence of Jesus:

It marks the excess to which skepticism has gone that writers are found in recent years who deny the very existence of Jesus Christ (Kalthoff, Das Christus-Problem, and Die Entstehung des Christenthums; Jensen, Das Gilgamesch-Epos, I; Drews, Die Christusmythe; compare on Kalthoff, Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, English translation, 313 ff; Jensen is reviewed in the writer’s The Resurrection of Jesus, chapter ix). The extravagance of such skepticism is its sufficient refutation.

3. Extra-Christian Notices:

Of notices outside the Christian circles the following may be referred to.

(1) Josephus.

There is the famous passage in Josephus, Ant, XVIII, iii, 3, commencing, "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man," etc. It is not unlikely that Josephus had some reference to Jesus, but most agree that the passage in question, if not entirely spurious, has been the subject of Christian interpolation (on the lit. and different views, see Schurer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, Div II, volume II, 143 ff; in support of interpolation, Edersheim on "Josephus," in Dictionary of Christ. Biography).

(2) Tacitus.

The Roman historian, Tacitus, in a well-known passage relating to the persecution of Nero (Ann. xv.44), tells how the Christians, already "a great multitude" (ingens multitudo), derived their name "from one Christus, who was executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate."

(3) Suetonius also, in his account of Claudius, speaks of the Jews as expelled from Rome for the raising of tumults at the instigation of one "Chrestus" (impulsore Chresto), plainly a mistake for "Christus." The incident is doubtless that referred to in Ac 18:2. 4. The Gospels:

The four Gospels, then, with their rich contents, remain as our primary sources for the knowledge of the earthly life of Jesus.

(1) The Synoptics.

It may be taken for granted as the result of the best criticism that the first three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) all fall well within the apostolic age (compare Harnack, Altchr. Lit., Pref; see GOSPELS). The favorite theory at present of the relations of these Gospels is, that Mr is an independent Gospel, resting on the teaching of Peter; that Mt and Lu have as sources the Gospel of Mr and a collection of discourses, probably attributable to the apostle Matthew (now commonly called Q) ; and that Lu has a third, well-authenticated source (Lu 1:1-4) peculiar to himself. The present writer is disposed to allow more independence to the evangelists in the embodying of a tradition common to all; in any case, the sources named are of unexceptionable authority, and furnish a strong guaranty for the reliability of the narratives. The supreme guaranty of their trustworthiness, however, is found in the narratives themselves; for who in that (or any) age could imagine a figure so unique and perfect as that of Jesus, or invent the incomparable sayings and parables that proceeded from His lips? Much of Christ’s teaching is high as heaven above the minds of men still.

(2) The Fourth Gospel.

The Fourth Gospel stands apart from the Synoptics in dealing mainly with another set of incidents (the Jerusalem ministry), and discourses of a more private and intimate kind than those belonging to the Galilean teaching. Its aim, too, is doctrinal—to show that Jesus is "the Son of God," and its style and mode of conception are very different from those of the Synoptic Gospels. Its contents touch their narratives in only a few points (as in Joh 6:4-21). Where they do, the resemblance is manifest. It is obvious that the reminiscences which the Gospel contains have been long brooded over by the apostle, and that a certain interpretative element blends with his narration of incidents and discourses. This, however, does not warrant us in throwing doubt, with so many, on the genuineness of the Gospel, for which the external evidence is exceptionally strong (compare Sanday, The Criticism of the Fourth Gospel; Drummond, Character and Authorship of the Fourth Gospel; and see JOHN, GOSPEL OF). The Gospel is accepted here as a genuine record of the sayings and doings of Jesus which it narrates.

II. The Preparation.

1. Both Gentile and Jewish:

In the Gospels and throughout the New Testament Jesus appears as the goal of Old Testament revelation, and the point to which all providential developments tended. He came, Paul says, in "the fullness of the time" (Ga 4:4). It has often been shown how, politically, intellectually, morally, everything in the Greco-Roman world was ready for such a universal religion as Jesus brought into it (compare Baur’s Hist of the Church in the First Three Cents., English translation, chapter i). The preparation in Israel is seen alike in God’s revelations to, and dealings with, the chosen people in the patriarchal, Mosaic, monarchical and prophetic periods, and in the developments of the Jewish mind in the centuries immediately before Christ.

2. Old Testament Preparation:

As special lines in the Old Testament preparation may be noted the ideas of the Messianic king, a ruler of David’s house, whose reign would be righteous, perpetual, universal (compare Isa 7:13-9:7; 32:1,2; Jer 33:15,16; Ps 2:1-10, etc.); of a Righteous Sufferer (Ps 22, etc.), whose sufferings are in Isa 53 declared to have an expiatory and redeeming character; and of a Messianic kingdom, which, breaking the bounds of nationalism, would extend through the whole earth and embrace all peoples (compare Isa 60; Ps 87; Da 2:44; 7:27, etc.). The kingdom, at the same time, is now conceived of under a more spiritual aspect. Its chief blessings are forgiveness and righteousness.

3. Post-exilian Preparation:

The age succeeding the return from exile witnessed a manifold preparation for the advent of Christ. Here may be observed the decentralization of the Jewish religious ideals through the rise of synagogue worship and the widespread dispersion of the race; the contact with Hellenic culture (as in Philo); but especially the marked sharpening of Messianic expectations. Some of these were of a crude apocalyptic character (see APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE; ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT); many were political and revolutionary; but some were of a purer and more spiritual kind (compare Lu 2:25,38). To these purer elements Jesus attached Himself in His preaching of the kingdom and of Himself as its Lord. Even in the Gentileworld, it is told, there was an expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judea (Tacitus, History v.13; Suet. Vespas. 4).

III. The Outward Situation.

1. The Land:

Of all lands Palestine was the most fitted to be the scene of the culminating revelation of God’s grace in the person and work of Jesus Christ, as before it was fitted to be the abode of the people chosen to receive and preserve the revelations that prepared the way for that final manifestation. At once central and secluded—at the junction of the three great continents of the Old World, Asia, Africa and Europe—the highway of nations in war and commerce—touching mighty powers on every hand, Egypt, Syria, Assyria, kingdoms of Asia Minor, as formerly more ancient empires, Hittite and Babylonian, now in contact with Greece and Rome, yet singularly enclosed by mountain, desert, Jordan gorge, and Great Sea, from ready entrance of foreign influences, Palestine has a place of its own in the history of revelation, which only a Divine wisdom can have given it (compare Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, Part II, chapter ii; G.A. Smith, Hist. Geog. of the Holy Land, Book I, chapters i, ii; Lange, Life of Christ, I, 246 ff).

Its Divisions.

Palestine, in the Roman period, was divided into four well-defined provinces or districts—Judaea, with Jerusalem as its center, in the South, the strong-hold of Jewish conservatism; Samaria, in the middle, peopled from Assyrian times by mixed settlers (2Ki 17:24-34), preponderatingly heathen in origin, yet now professing the Jewish religion, claiming Jewish descent (compare Joh 4:12), possessing a copy of the law (Sam Pentateuch), and a temple of their own at Gerizim (the original temple, built by Manasseh, circa 409 BC, was destroyed by John Hyrcanus, 109 BC); Galilee—"Galilee of the Gentiles" (Mt 4:15; compare Isa 9:1)—in the North, the chief scene of Christ’s ministry, freer and more cosmopolitan in spirit, through a large infusion of Gentile population, and contact with traders, etc., of varied nationalities: these in Western Palestine, while on the East, "beyond Jordan," was Peraea, divided up into Peraea proper, Batanea, Gaulonitis, Ituraea, Trachonitis, Decapolis, etc. (compare Mt 4:25; 19:1; Lu 3:1). The feeling of bitterness between Jews and Samaritans was intense (Joh 4:9). The language of the people throughout was ARAMAIC (which see), but a knowledge of the Greek tongue was widely diffused, especially in the North, where intercourse with Greek-speaking peoples was habitual (the New Testament writings are in Greek). Jesus doubtless used the native dialect in His ordinary teaching, but it is highly probable that He also knew Greek, and was acquainted with Old Testament Scriptures in that language (the Septuagint). In this case He may have sometimes used it in His preaching (compare Roberts, Discussions on the Gospels).

2. Political Situation:

The miserable story of the vicissitudes of the Jewish people in the century succeeding the great persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt—a story made up of faction, intrigue, wars, murders, massacres, of growing degeneracy of rulers and nation, of repeated sackings of Jerusalem and terrible slaughters—till Herod, the Idumean, misnamed "the Great," ascended the throne by favor of the Romans (37 BC), must be read in the books relating to the period (Ewald, History of Israel, V; Milman, Hist of Jews; Schurer, History of the Jewish People in Time of Christ, Div I, Vol I; Stanley, Jewish Church, III, etc.). Rome’s power, first invited by Judas Maccabeus (161 BC), was finally established by Pompey’s capture of Jerusalem (63 BC). Herod’s way to the throne was tracked by crime and bloodshed, and murder of those most nearly related to him marked every step in his advance. His taste for splendid buildings—palace, temple (Mt 24:1; Joh 2:20), fortresses, cities (Sebaste, Caesarea, etc.)—and lavish magnificence of his royal estate and administration, could not conceal the hideousness of his crafty, unscrupulous selfishness, his cold-blooded cruelty, his tyrannous oppression of his subjects. "Better be Herod’s hog (hus) than his son (huios)," was the comment of Augustus, when he heard of the dying king’s unnatural doings.

Changes in Territory.

At the time of Christ’s birth, the whole of Palestine was united under Herod’s rule, but on Herod’s death, after a long reign of 37 (or, counting from his actual accession, 34) years, his dominions were, in accordance with his will, confirmed by Rome, divided. Judea and Samaria (a few towns excepted) fell to his son Archelaus (Mt 2:22), with the title of "ethnarch"; Galilee and Perea were given to Herod Antipas, another son, with the title of "tetrarch" (Mt 14:1; Lu 3:1,19; 23:7; Ac 13:1); Herod Philip, a third son, received Iturea, Trachonitis, and other parts of the northern trans-Jordanic territory, likewise as "tetrarch" (Lu 3:1; compare Mt 14:3; Mr 6:17). A few years later, the tyranny of Archelaus provoked an appeal of his subjects to Augustus, and Archelaus, summoned to Rome, was banished to Gaul (7 AD). Thereafter Judea, with Samaria, was governed by a Roman procurator, under the oversight of the prefect of Syria.

3. The Religious Sects:

In the religious situation the chief fact of interest is the place occupied and prominent part played by the religious sects—the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and (though unmentioned in the Gospels, these had an important influence on the early history of the church) the Essenes. The rise and characteristics of these sects can here only be alluded to (see special articles).

(1) The Scribes.

From the days of Ezra zealous attention had been given to the study of the law, and an order of men had arisen—the "scribes"—whose special business it was to guard, develop and expound the law. Through their labors, scrupulous observance of the law, and, with it, of the innumerable regulations intended to preserve the law, and apply it in detail to conduct (the so-called "tradition of the elders," Mt 15:2 ff), became the ideal of righteousness. The sects first appear in the Maccabean age. The Maccabean conflict reveals the existence of a party known as the "Assidaeans" (Hebrew chacidhim), or "pious" ones, opposed to the lax Hellenizing tendencies of the times, and staunch observers of the law. These in the beginning gave brave support to Judas Maccabeus, and doubtless then embraced the best elements of the nation.

(2) The Pharisees.

From them, by a process of deterioration too natural in such cases, developed the party of legalists known in the Gospels as the "Pharisees" ("separated"), on which Christ’s sternest rebukes fell for their self-righteousness, ostentation, pride and lack of sympathy and charity (Mt 6:2 ff; 23; Lu 18:9-14). They gloried in an excessive scrupulosity in the observance of the externals of the law, even in trivialities. To them the multitude that knew not the law were "accursed" (Joh 7:49). To this party the great body of the scribes and rabbis belonged, and its powerful influence was eagerly sought by contending factions in the state.

(3) The Sadducees.

Alongside of the Pharisees were the "Sadducees" (probably from "Zadok")—rather a political and aristocratic clique than a religious sect, into whose possession the honors of the high-priesthood and other influential offices hereditarily passed. They are first met with by name under John Hyrcanus (135-106 BC). The Sadducees received only the law of Moses, interpreted it in a literal, secularistic spirit, rejected the Pharisaic traditions and believed in neither resurrection, angel nor spirit (Ac 23:8). Usually in rivalry with the Pharisees, they are found combining with these to destroy Jesus (Mt 26:3-5,57).

(4) The Essenes.

The third party, the "Essenes," differed from both (some derive also from the Assideans) in living in fraternities apart from the general community, chiefly in the desert of Engedi, on the Northwest shore of the Dead Sea, though some were found also in villages and towns; in rejecting animal sacrifices, etc., sending only gifts of incense to the temple; in practicing celibacy and community of goods; in the wearing of white garments; in certain customs (as greeting the sunrise with prayers) suggestive of oriental influence. They forbade slavery, war, oaths, were given to occult studies, had secret doctrines and books, etc. As remarked, they do not appear in the Gospel, but on account of certain resemblances, some have sought to establish a connection between them and John the Baptist and Jesus. In reality, however, nothing could be more opposed than Essenism to the essential ideas and spirit of Christ’s teaching (compare Schurer, as above, Div. II, Vol. II, 188 ff; Kuenen, Hibbert Lects on National Religions and Universal Religions, 199-208; Lightfoot, Colossians, 114-79).

IV. The Chronology.

The leading chronological questions connected with the life of Jesus are discussed in detail elsewhere (CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; QUIRINIUS, etc.); here it is sufficient to indicate the general scheme of dating adopted in the present article, and some of the grounds on which it is preferred. The chief questions relate to the dates of the birth and baptism of Jesus, the duration of the ministry and the date of the crucifixion.

1. Date of the Birth of Jesus:

Though challenged by some (Caspari, Bosanquet, Conder, etc., put it as late as 1 BC) the usual date for the death of Herod the Great, March, 4 BC (year of Rome 750), may be assumed as correct (for grounds of this dating, see Schurer, op. cit., Div. I, Vol. I, 464-67). The birth of Jesus was before, and apparently not very long before, this event (Mt 2). It may therefore be placed with probability in the latter part of the previous year (5 BC), the ordinary dating of the commencement of the Christian era being thus, as is generally recognized, four years too late. There is no certainty as to the month or day of the birth. The Christmas date, December 25, is first met with in the West in the 4th century (the eastern date was January 6), and was then possibly borrowed from a pagan festival. December, in the winter season, seems unlikely, as unsuitable for the pasturing of flocks (Lu 2:8), though this objection is perhaps not decisive (Andrews, Conder). A more probable date is a couple of months earlier. The synchronism with Quirinius (Lu 2:2) is considered in connection with the nativity. The earlier datings of 6, 7, or even 8 BC, suggested by Ramsay, Mackinlay and others, on grounds of the assumed Roman census, astronomical phenomena, etc., appear to leave too long an interval before the death of Herod, and conflict with other data, as Lu 3:1 (see below).

2. Date of Baptism:

John is said by Luke to have begun to preach and baptize "in the fifteenth year of Tiberius" (Lu 3:1), and Jesus "was about thirty years of age" (Lu 3:23) when He was baptized by John, and entered on His ministry. If the 15th year of Tiberius is dated, as seems most likely, from his association with Augustus as colleague in the government, 765 AUC, or 12 AD (Tacitus, Annals i.3; Suetonius on Augustus, 97), and if Jesus may be supposed to have been baptized about 6 months after John commenced his work, these data combine in bringing us to the year 780 AUC, or 27 AD, as the year of our Lord’s baptism, in agreement with our former conclusion as to the date of His birth in 5 BC. To place the birth earlier is to make Jesus 32 or 33 years of age at His baptism—an unwarrantable extension of the "about." In accord with this is the statement in Joh 2:20 that the temple had been 46 years in building (it began in 20-19 BC) at the time of Christ’s first Passover; therefore in 780 AUC, or 27-AD (compare Schurer, op. cit., Div. I, Vol. I, 410).

3. Length of Ministry:

The determination of the precise duration of our Lord’s ministry involves more doubtful elements. Setting aside, as too arbitrary, schemes which would, with some of the early Fathers, compress the whole ministry into little over a single year (Browne, Hort, etc.)—a view which involves without authority the rejection of the mention of the Passover in Joh 6:4—there remains the choice between a two years’ and a three years’ ministry. Both have able advocates (Turner in article "Chronology," and Sanday in article "Jesus Christ," in H D B, advocate the two years’ scheme; Farrar, Ramsay, D. Smith, etc., adhere to the three years’ scheme). An important point is the view taken of the unnamed "feast" in Joh 5:1. John has already named a Passover—Christ’s first—in 2:13,23; another, which Jesus did not attend, is named in 6:4; the final Passover, at which He was crucified, appears in all the evangelists. If the "feast" of Joh 5:1 (the article is probably to be omitted) is also, as some think, a Passover, then John has four Passovers, and a three years’ ministry becomes necessary. It is claimed, however, that in this case the "feast" would almost certainly have been named. It still does not follow, even if a minor feast—say Purim—is intended, that we are shut up to a two years’ ministry. Mr. Turner certainly goes beyond his evidence in affirming that "while two years must, not more than two years can, be allowed for the interval from Joh 2:13,23 to Joh 11:55." The two years’ scheme involves, as will be seen on consideration of details, a serious overcrowding and arbitrary transposition of incidents, which speak to the need of longer time. We shall assume that the ministry lasted for three years, reserving reasons till the narrative is examined.

4. Date of Christ’s Death:

On the hypothesis now accepted, the crucifixion of Jesus took place at the Passover of 30 AD. On the two years’ scheme it would fall a year earlier. On both sides it is agreed that it occurred on the Friday of the week of the Passover, but it is disputed whether this Friday was the 14th or the 15th day of the month. The Gospel of John is pleaded for the former date, the Synoptics for the latter. The question will be considered in connection with the time of the Last Supper. Meanwhile it is to be observed that, if the 15th is the correct date, there seems reason to believe that the 15th of Nisan fell on a Friday in the year just named, 783 AUG, or 30 AD. We accept this provisionally as the date of the crucifixion.



I. The Miracles.

1. The "Modern" Attitude:

Everyone is aware that the presence of miracle in the Gospels is a chief ground of the rejection of its history by the representatives of the "modern" school. It is not questioned that it is a super-natural person whose picture is presented in the Gospels. There is no real difference between the Synoptics and John in this respect. "Even the oldest Gospel," writes Bousset, "is written from the standpoint of faith; already for Mark, Jesus is not only the Messiah of the Jewish people, but the miraculous eternal Son of God, whose glory shone in the world" (Was wissen wir von Jesus? 54, 57). But the same writer, interpreting the "modern" spirit, declares that no account embracing supernatural events can be accepted as historical. "The main characteristic of this modern mode of thinking," he says, "rests upon the determination to try to explain everything that takes place in the world by natural causes, or—to express it in another form—it rests on the determined assertion of universal laws to which all phenomena, natural and spiritual, are subject" (What Is Religion? English translation, 283).

2. Supernatural in the Gospels:

With such an assumption it is clear that the Gospels are condemned before they are read. Not only is Jesus there a supernatural person, but He is presented as super-natural in natural in character, in works, in claims (see below); He performs miracles; He has a supernatural birth, and a supernatural resurrection. All this is swept away. It may be allowed that He had remarkable gifts of healing, but these are in the class of "faithcures" (thus Harnack), and not truly supernatural. When one seeks the justification for this selfconfident dogmatism, it is difficult to discover it, except on the ground of a pantheistic or monistic theory of the universe which excludes the personal God of Christianity. If God is the Author and Sustainer of the natural system, which He rules for moral ends, it is impossible to see why, for high ends of revelation and redemption, a supernatural economy should not be engrafted on the natural, achieving ends which could not otherwise be attained. This does not of course touch the question of evidence for any particular miracle, which must be judged of from its connection with the person of the worker, and the character of the apostolic witnesses. The well-meant effort to explain all miracles through the action of unknown natural laws—which is what Dr. Sanday calls "making both ends meet" (Life of Christ in Recent Research, 302)—breaks down in the presence of such miracles as the instantaneous cleansing of the leper, restoration of sight to the blind, the raising of the dead, acts which plainly imply an exercise of creative power. In such a life as Christ’s, transcendence of the ordinary powers of Nature is surely to be looked for.

II. The Messiahship.

1. Reserve of Jesus and Modern Criticism:

A difficulty has been found in the fact that in all the Gospels Jesus knew Himself to be the Messiah at least from the time of His baptism, yet did not, even to His disciples, unreservedly announce Himself as such till after Peter’s great confession at Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:13 ). On this seeming secrecy the bold hypothesis has been built that Jesus in reality never made the claim to Messiahship, and that the passages which imply the contrary in Mark (the original Gospel) are unhistorical (Wrede; compare on this and other theories, Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, English translation; Sanday, The Life of Christ in Recent Research). So extreme an opinion is rejected by most; but modern critics vie with each other in the freedom with which they treat the testimony of the evangelists on this subject. Baldensperger, e.g., supposes that Jesus did not attain full certainty on His Messiahship till near the time of Peter’s confession, and arbitrarily transposes the earlier sections in which the title "Son of Man" occurs till after that event (Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu, 2nd edition, 246). Bousset thinks that Jesus adopted the Messianic role as the only one open to Him, but bore it as a "burden" (compare his Jesus). Schweitzer connects it with apocalyptic ideas of a wildly fantastic character (op. cit., chapter xix).

2. A Growing Revelation:

There is, however, no need for supposing that Peter’s confession marks the first dawn of this knowledge in the minds of the apostles. Rather was it the exalted expression of a faith already present, which had long been maturing. The baptism and temptation, with the use of the title "Son of Man," the tone of authority in His teaching, His miracles, and many special incidents, show, as clearly as do the discourses in John, that Jesus was from the beginning fully conscious of His vocation, and His reserve in the use of the title sprang, not from any doubt in His own mind as to His right to it, but from His desire to avoid false associations till the true nature of His Messiahship should be revealed. The Messiahship was in process of self-revelation throughout to those who had eyes to see it (compare Joh 6:66-71). What it involved will be seen later.

III. Kingdom and Apocalypse.

1. The Kingdom—Present or Future?:

Connected with the Messiahship is the idea of the "Kingdom of God" or "of heaven," which some in modern times would interpret in a purely eschatological sense, in the light of Jewish apocalyptic conceptions (Johannes Weiss, Schweitzer, etc.). The kingdom is not a thing of the present, but wholly a thing of the future, to be introduced by convulsions of Nature and the Parousia of the Son of Man. The language of the Lord’s Prayer, "Thy kingdom come," is quoted in support of this contention, but the next petition should guard against so violent an inference. "Thy will be done," Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, "as in heaven, so on earth" (Mt 6:10). The kingdom is the reign of God in human hearts and lives in this world as well as in the next. It would not be wrong to define it as consisting essentially in the supremacy of God’s will in human hearts and human affairs, and in every department of these affairs. As Jesus describes the kingdom, it has, in the plain meaning of His words, a present being on earth, though its perfection is in eternity. The parables in Mt 13 and elsewhere exhibit it as founded by the sowing of the word of truth (Sower), as a mingling of good and evil elements (Tares), as growing from small beginnings to large proportions (Mustard Seed), as gradually leavening humanity (Leaven), as of priceless value (Treasure; Pearl; compare Mt 6:33); as terminating in a judgment (Tares, Dragnet); as perfected in the world to come (Mt 13:43). It was a kingdom spiritual in nature (Lu 17:20,21), universal in range (Mt 8:11; 21:43, etc.), developing from a principle of life within (Mr 4:26-29), and issuing in victory over all opposition (Mt 21:44).

2. Apocalyptic Beliefs:

It is difficult to pronounce on the extent to which Jesus was acquainted with current apocalyptic beliefs, or allowed these to color the imagery of parts of His teachings. These beliefs certainly did not furnish the substance of His teaching, and it may be doubted whether they more than superficially affected even its form. Jewish apocalyptic knew nothing of a death and resurrection of the Messiah and of His return in glory to bring in an everlasting kingdom. What Jesus taught on these subjects sprang from His own Messianic consciousness, with the certainty He had of His triumph over death and His exaltation to the right hand of God. It was in Old Testament prophecy, not in late Jewish apocalypse, that His thoughts of the future triumph of His kingdom were grounded, and from the vivid imagery of the prophets He borrowed most of the clothing of these thoughts. Isa 53 e.g., predicts not only the rejection and death of the Servant of Yahweh (53:3,1-9,12), but the prolongation of His days and His victorious reign (53:10-12). Dnl, not the Book of En, is the source of the title, "Son of Man," and of the imagery of coming on the clouds of heaven (Da 7:13). The ideas of resurrection, etc., have their ground in the Old Testament (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT). With the extravagant, unspiritual forms into which these conceptions were thrown in the Jewish apocalyptic books His teaching had nothing in common. The new apocalyptic school represented by Schweitzer reduces the history of Jesus to folly, fanaticism and hopeless disillusionment.

IV. The Character and Claims.

1. Denial of Christ’s Moral Perfection:

Where the Gospels present us in Jesus with the image of a flawless character—in the words of the writer to the Hebrews, "holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners" (Heb 7:26)—modern criticism is driven by an inexorable necessity to deprive Jesus of His sinless perfection, and to impute to Him the error, frailty, and moral infirmity that belong to ordinary mortals. In Schweitzer’s portraiture (compare op. cit.), He is an apocalyptic enthusiastic, ruled by illusory ideals, deceiving Himself and others as to who He was, and as to the impending end of the world. Those who show a more adequate appreciation of Christ’s spiritual greatness are still prevented by their humanitarian estimate of His person and their denial of the supernatural in history from recognizing the possibility of His sinlessness. It may confidently be said that there is hardly a single writer of the modern school who grants Christ’s moral perfection. To do so would be to admit a miracle in humanity, and we have heard that miracle is by the highest rational necessity excluded. This, however, is precisely the point on which the modern so-called "historical-critical" mode of presentation most obviously breaks down. The ideal of perfect holiness in the Gospels which has fascinated the conscience of Christendom for 18 centuries, and attests itself anew to every candid reader, is not thus lightly to be got rid of, or explained away as the invention of a church gathered out (without the help of the ideal) promiscuously from Jews and Gentiles. It was not the church—least of all such a church—that created Christ, but Christ that created the church.

(1) The Sinlessness Assured.

The sinlessness of Jesus is a datum in the Gospels. Over against a sinful world He stands as a Saviour who is Himself without sin. His is the one life in humanity in which is presented a perfect knowledge and unbroken fellowship with the Father, undeviating obedience to His will, unswerving devotion under the severest strain of temptation and suffering to the highest ideal of goodness. The ethical ideal was never raised to so absolute a height as it is in the teaching of Jesus, and the miracle is that, high as it is in its unsullied purity, the character of Jesus corresponds with it, and realizes it. Word and life for once in history perfectly agree. Jesus, with the keenest sensitiveness to sin in thought and feeling as in deed, is conscious of no sin in Himself, confesses no sin, disclaims the presence of it, speaks and acts continually on the assumption that He is without it. Those who knew Him best declared Him to be without sin (1Pe 2:22; 1Joh 3:5; compare 2Co 5:21). The Gospels must be rent in pieces before this image of a perfect holiness can be effaced from them.

(2) What This Implies.

How is this phenomenon of a sinless personality in Jesus to be explained? It is itself a miracle, and can only be made credible by a creative miracle in Christ’s origin. It may be argued that a Virgin Birth does not of itself secure sinlessness, but it will hardly be disputed that at least a sinless personality implies miracle in its production. It is precisely because of this that the modern spirit feels bound to reject it. In the Gospels it is not the Virgin Birth by itself which is invoked to explain Christ’s sinlessness, but the supernatural conception by the Holy Spirit (Lu 1:35). It is because of this conception that the birth is a virgin one. No explanation of the supernatural element in Christ’s Person is more rational or credible (see below on "Nativity").

2. Sinlessness and the Messianic Claim:

If Jesus from the first was conscious of Himself as without sin and if, as the converse of this, He knew Himself as standing in an unbroken filial fellowship with the Father, He must early have become conscious of His special vocation, and learnt to distinguish Himself from others as one called to bless and save them. Here is the true germ of His Messianic consciousness, from which everything subsequently is unfolded. He stood in a rapport with the Father which opened His spirit to a full, clear revelation of the Father’s will regarding Himself, His mission, the kingdom He came to found, His sufferings as the means of salvation to the world, the glory that awaited Him when His earthly work was done. In the light of this revelation He read the Old Testament Scriptures and saw His course there made plain. When the hour had come He went to John for baptism, and His brief, eventful ministry, which should end in the cross, began. This is the reading of events which introduces consistency and purpose into the life of Jesus, and it is this we mean to follow in the sketch now to be given.



1. Divisions of the History:

The wonderful story of the life of the world’s Redeemer which we are now to endeavor to trace falls naturally into several divisions:

A. From the Nativity to the Baptism and Temptation.

B. The Early Judean Ministry.

C. The Galilean Ministry and Visits to the Feasts.

D. The Last Journey to Jerusalem.

E. The Passion Week—Betrayal, Trial, and Crucifixion.

F. The Resurrection and Ascension.

2. Not a Complete "Life":

To avoid misconception, it is important to remember, that, rich as are the narratives of the Gospels, materials do not exist for a complete biography or "Life" of Jesus. There is a gap, broken only by a single incident, from His infancy till His 30th year; there are cycles of events out of myriads left unrecorded (Joh 21:25); there are sayings, parables, longer discourses, connected with particular occasions; there are general summaries of periods of activity comprised in a few verses. The evangelists, too, present their materials each from his own standpoint—Matthew from theocratic, Mark from that of Christ’s practical activity, Luke from the universalistic and human-sympathetic, John from the Divine. In reproducing the history respect must be had to this focusing from distinct points of view.


I. The Nativity.

1. Hidden Piety in Judaism: Old Testament prophecy expired with the promise on its lips, "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Yahweh of hosts" (Mal 3:1). In the years immediately before Christ’s birth the air was tremulous with the sense of impending great events. The fortunes of the Jewish people were at their lowest ebb. Pharisaic formalism, Sadducean unbelief, fanatical Zealotry, Herodian sycophantism, Roman oppression, seemed to have crushed out the last sparks of spiritual religion. Yet in numerous quiet circles in Judea, and even in remote Galilee, little godly bands still nourished their souls on the promises, looking for "the consolation of Israel" and "redemption of Jerusalem" (Lu 2:25,38). Glimpses of these are vouchsafed in Zacharias and Elisabeth, in Simeon, in Anna, in Joseph and Mary (Lu 1; 2; Mt 1:18 ). It was in hearts in these circles that the stirrings of the prophetic spirit began to make themselves felt anew, preparing for the Advent (compare Lu 2:27,36).

2. Birth of the Baptist:

(Luke 1)

In the last days of Herod—perhaps in the year 748 of Rome, or 6 BC—the aged priest Zacharias, of the course of Abijah (1Ch 24:10; compare Schurer, Div. II, Vol. I, 219 ff), was ministering in the temple at the altar of incense at the hour of evening prayer. Scholars have reckoned, if on somewhat precarious grounds, that the ministry of the order to which Zacharias belonged fell in this year in the month of April or in early October (compare Andrews, Life of our Lord). Now a wonderful thing happened. Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, noted for their blameless piety, were up to this time childless. On this evening an angel, appearing at the side of the altar of incense, announced to Zacharias that a son should be born to them, in whom should be realized the prediction of Malachi of one coming in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way of the Lord (compare Mal 4:5,6). His name was to be called John. Zacharias hesitated to believe, and was stricken with dumbness till the promise should be fulfilled. It happened as the angel had foretold, and at the circumcision and naming of his son his tongue was again loosed. Zacharias, filled with the Spirit, poured forth his soul in a hymn of praise—the Benedictus (Lu 1:5-25,57-80; compare JOHN THE BAPTIST).

3. The Annunciation and Its Results:

(Lu 1:26-56; Mt 1:18-25)

Meanwhile yet stranger things were happening in the little village of Nazareth, in Galilee (now enNacirah). There resided a young maiden of purest character, named Mary, betrothed to a carpenter of the village (compare Mt 13:55), called Joseph, who, although in so humble a station, was of the lineage of David (compare Isa 11:1). Mary, most probably, was likewise of Davidic descent (Lu 1:32; on the genealogies, see below). The fables relating to the parentage and youth of Mary in the Apocryphal Gospels may safely be discarded. To this maiden, three months before the birth of the Baptist, the same angelic visitant (Gabriel) appeared, hailing her as "highly favored" of God, and announcing to her that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, she should become the mother of the Saviour. The words "Blessed art thou among women," in the King James Version of Lu 1:28 are omitted by the Revised Version (British and American), though found below (1:42) in Elisabeth’s salutation. They give, in any case, no support to Mariolatry, stating simply the fact that Mary was more honored than any other woman of the race in being chosen to be the mother of the Lord.

(1) The Amazing Message.

The announcement itself was of the most amazing import. Mary herself was staggered at the thought that, as a virgin, she should become a mother (Lu 1:34). Still more surprising were the statements made as to the Son she was to bear. Conceived of the Holy Spirit (Lu 1:35; Mt 1:18), He would be great, and would be called "the Son of the Most High" (Lu 1:32)—"the Son of God" (Lu 1:35); there would be given to Him the throne of His father David, and His reign would be eternal (Lu 1:32,33; compare Isa 9:6,7); He would be "holy" from the womb (Lu 1:35). His name was to be called Jesus (Lu 1:31; compare Mt 1:21), denoting Him as Saviour. The holiness of Jesus is here put in connection with His miraculous conception, and surely rightly. In no case in the history of mankind has natural generation issued in a being who is sinless, not to say superhuman. The fact that Jesus, even in His human nature, was supernaturally begotten—was "Son of God"—does not exclude the higher and eternal Sonship according to the Divine nature (Joh 1:18). The incarnation of such a Divine Being as Paul and John depict, itself implies miracle in human origin. On the whole message being declared to her, Mary accepted what was told her in meek humility (Lu 1:38).

(2) The Visit to Elisabeth.

With the announcement to herself there was given to Mary an indication of what had befallen her kinswoman Elisabeth, and Mary’s first act, on recovering from her astonishment, was to go in haste to the home of Elisabeth in the hill country of Judea (Lu 1:39 ). Very naturally she did not rashly forestall God’s action in speaking to Joseph of what had occurred, but waited in quietness and faith till God should reveal in His own way what He had done. The meeting of the two holy women was the occasion of a new outburst of prophetic inspiration. Elisabeth, moved by the Spirit, greeted Mary in exalted language as the mother of the Lord (Lu 1:42-45)—a confirmation to Mary of the message she had received; Mary, on her part, broke forth in rhythmical utterance, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," etc. (Lu 1:46-56). Her hymn—the sublime Magnificat—is to be compared with Hannah’s (1Sa 2:1-11), which furnishes the model of it. Mary abode with Elisabeth about three months, then returned to her own house. (3) Joseph’s Perplexity.

Here a new trial awaited her. Mary’s condition of motherhood could not long be concealed, and when Joseph first became aware of it, the shock to a man so just (Mt 1:19) would be terrible in its severity. The disappearance of Joseph from the later gospel history suggests that he was a good deal older than his betrothed, and it is possible that, while strict, upright and conscientious, his disposition was not as strong on the side of sympathy as so delicate a case required. It is going too far to say with Lange, "He encountered the modest, but unshakably firm Virgin with decided doubt; the first Ebionite"; but so long as he had no support beyond Mary’s word, his mind was in a state of agonized perplexity. His first thought was to give Mary a private "bill of divorcement" to avoid scandal (Mt 1:19). Happily, his doubts were soon set at rest by a Divine intimation, and he hesitated no longer to take Mary to be his wife (Mt 1:24). Luke’s Gospel, which confines itself to the story of Mary, says nothing of this episode; Matthew’s narrative, which bears evidence of having come from Joseph himself, supplies the lack by showing how Joseph came to have the confidence in Mary which enabled him to take her to wife, and become sponsor for her child. The trial, doubtless, while it lasted, was not less severe for Mary than for Joseph—a prelude of that sword which was to "pierce through (her) own soul" (Lu 2:35). There is no reason to believe that Joseph and Mary did not subsequently live in the usual relations of wedlock, and that children were not born to them (compare Mt 13:55,56, etc.).

4. The Birth at Bethlehem:

(Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:1-7)

Matthew gives no indication of where the events narrated in his first chapter took place, first mentioning Nazareth on the occasion of the return of the holy family from Egypt (2:23). In 2:1 he transports us to Bethlehem as the city of Christ’s birth. It is left to Luke to give an account of the circumstances which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem—thus fulfilling prophecy (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:5,6)—at this critical hour, and to record the lowly manner of Christ’s birth there.

(1) The Census of Quirinius.

The emperor Augustus had given orders for a general enrollment throughout the empire (the fact of periodical enrollments in the empire is well established by Professor W.M. Ramsay in his Was Christ Born at Bethlehem?), and this is stated to have been given effect to in Judea when Quirinius was governor of Syria (Lu 2:1,2). The difficulties connected with the enrollment or census here mentioned are discussed in the article QUIRINIUS. It is known that Quirinius did conduct a census in Judea in 6 AD (compare Ac 5:37), but the census at Christ’s birth is distinguished from this by Luke as "the first enrollment." The difficulty was largely removed when it was ascertained, as it has been to the satisfaction of most scholars, that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria—first, after Herod’s death, 4-1 BC, and again in 6-11 AD. The probability is that the census was begun under Varus, the immediate predecessor of Quirinius—or even earlier under Saturninus—but was delayed in its application to Judea, then under Herod’s jurisdiction, and was completed by Quirinius, with whose name it is officially connected. That the enrollment was made by each one going to his own city (verse 3) is explained by the fact that the census was not made according to the Roman method, but, as befitted a dependent kingdom, in accordance with Jewish usages (compare Ramsay).

(2) Jesus Born.

It must be left undecided whether the journey of Mary to Bethlehem with Joseph was required for any purpose of registration, or sprang simply from her unwillingness to be separated from Joseph in so trying a situation. To Bethlehem, in any case, possibly by Divine monition, she came, and there, in the ancestral city of David, in circumstances the lowliest conceivable, brought forth her marvelous child. In unadorned language—very different from the embellishments of apocryphal story—Luke narrates how, when the travelers arrived, no room was found for them in the "inn"—the ordinary eastern khan or caravanserai, a square enclosure, with an open court for cattle, and a raised recess round the walls for shelter of visitors—and how, when her babe was born, Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger. The wearied pair having, according to Luke, been crowded out of, and not merely within, the inn, there is every probability that the birth took place, not, as some suppose, in the courtyard of the inn, but, as the oldest tradition asserts (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 78), in a cave in the neighborhood, used for similar purposes of lodgment and housing of cattle. High authorities look favorably on the "cave of the nativity" still shown, with its inscription, Hic de virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est, as marking the sacred spot. In such incredibly mean surroundings was "the only begotten of the Father" ushered into the world He came to redeem. How true the apostle’s word that He "emptied" Himself (Php 2:7)! A problem lies in the very circumstances of the entrance into time of such a One, which only the thought of a voluntary humiliation for saving ends can solve.

5. The Incidents of the Infancy:

(Luke 2:8-39; Matthew 2:1-12)

Born, however, though Jesus was, in a low condition, the Father did not leave Him totally without witness to His Sonship. There were rifts in the clouds through which cidents of the hidden glory streamed. The scenes in the narratives of the Infancy exhibit a strange commingling of the glorious and the lowly.

(1) The Visit of the Shepherds.

To shepherds watching their flocks by night in the fields near Bethlehem the first disclosure was made. The season, one would infer, could hardly have been winter, though it is stated that there is frequently an interval of dry weather in Judea between the middle of December and the middle of February, when such a keeping of flocks would be possible (Andrews). The angel world is not far removed from us, and as angels preannounced the birth of Christ, so, when He actually came into the world (compare Heb 1:6), angels of God made the night vocal with their songs. First, an angel appearing in the midst of the Divine glory—the "Shekinah"—announced to the sorely alarmed shepherds the birth of a "Saviour who was Christ the Lord" at Bethlehem; then a whole chorus of the heavenly host broke in with the refrain, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom He is well pleased" (literally, "men of good pleasure")—since, the Christmas hymn of the generations (Lu 2:1-14). The shepherds, guided as to how to recognize the babe (Lu 2:12), went at once, and found it to be ever, as they had been told. Thence they hastened to spread abroad the tidings—the first believers, the first worshippers, the first preachers (Lu 2:15-20). Mary cherished the sayings in the stillness of her heart.

(2) The Circumcision and Presentation in the Temple.

Jewish law required that on the 8th day the male child should be circumcised, and on the same day He received His name (compare Lu 1:59-63). Jesus, though entirely pure, underwent the rite which denoted the putting off of fleshly sin (Col 2:11), and became bound, as a true Israelite, to render obedience to every Divine commandment. The name "Jesus" was then given Him (Lu 2:21). On the 40th day came the ceremony of presentation in the temple at Jerusalem, when Mary had to offer for her purifying (Le 12; Mary’s was the humbler offering of the poor, "a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons" (Le 12:8; Lu 2:24)), and when the first-born son had to be redeemed with 5 shekels of the sanctuary (Nu 18:15,16; about $3.60). The observance was an additional token that Christ—personally sinless—did not shrink from full identification with our race in the responsibilities of its sinful condition. Ere it was completed, however, the ceremony was lifted to a Diviner level, and a new attestation was given of the dignity of the child of Mary, by the action and inspired utterances of the holy Simeon and the aged prophetess Anna. To Simeon, a righteous and devout man, "looking for the consolation of Israel," it had been revealed that he should not die till he had seen the Lord’s Christ, and, led by the Spirit into the temple at the very time when Jesus was being presented, he recognized in Him the One for whom he had waited, and, taking Him in his arms, gave utterance to the beautiful words of the Nunc Dimittis—"Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord," etc. (Lu 2:25-32). He told also how this child was set for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and how, through Him, a sword should pierce through Mary’s own soul (Lu 2:34,35). Entering at the same hour, the prophetess Anna—now in extreme old age (over 100; a constant frequenter of the temple, Lu 2:37—confirmed his words, and spoke of Him to all who, like herself, looked "for the redemption of Jerusalem."

(3) Visit of the Magi.

It seems to have been after the presentation in the temple that the incident took place recorded by Matthew of the visit of the Magi. The Magi, a learned class belonging originally to Chaldea or Persia (see MAGI), had, in course of time, greatly degenerated (compare Simon Magus, Ac 8:9), but those who now came to seek Christ from the distant East were of a nobler order. They appeared in Jerusalem inquiring, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" and declaring that they had seen His star in the East, and had come to worship Him (Mt 2:2). Observers of the nightly sky, any significant appearance in the heavens would at once attract their attention. Many (Kepler, Ideler, etc.; compare Ramsay, op. cit., 215 ff) are disposed to connect this "star" with a remarkable conjunction—or series of conjunctions—of planets in 7-6 BC, in which case it is possible that two years may have elapsed (compare the inquiry of Herod and his subsequent action, Mt 2:7,16) from their observation of the sign. On the other hand, the fact of the star reappearing and seeming to stand over a house in Bethlehem (Mt 2:9) rather points to a distinct phenomenon (compare BETHLEHEM, STAR OF). The inquiry of the Magi at once awakened Herod’s alarm; accordingly, having ascertained from the scribes that the Christ should be born at Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), he summoned the Magi, questioned them as to when exactly the star appeared, then sent them to Bethlehem to search out the young child, hypocritically pretending that he also wished to worship Him (Mt 2:7,8). Herod had faith enough to believe the Scriptures, yet was foolish enough to think that he could thwart God’s purpose. Guided by the star, which anew appeared, the wise men came to Bethlehem, offered their gifts, and afterward, warned by God, returned by another road, without reporting to Herod. It is a striking picture—Herod the king, and Christ the King; Christ a power even in His cradle, inspiring terror, attracting homage! The faith of these sages, unrepelled by the lowly surroundings of the child they had discovered, worshipping, and laying at His feet their gold, frankincense and myrrh, is a splendid anticipation of the victories Christ was yet to win among the wisest as well as the humblest of our race. Herod, finding himself, as he thought, befooled by the Magi, avenged himself by ordering a massacre of all the male children of two years old, and under, in Bethlehem and its neighborhood (Mt 2:16-19). This slaughter, if not recorded elsewhere (compare however, Macrobius, quoted by Ramsay, op. cit., 219), is entirely in keeping with the cruelty of Herod’s disposition. Meanwhile, Joseph and Mary had been withdrawn from the scene of danger (Mt 2:17 connects the mourning of the Bethlehem mothers with Rachel’s weeping, Jer 31:15).

6. Flight to Egypt and Return to Nazareth:

(Matthew 2:13-15,19-23)

The safety of Mary and her threatened child was provided for by a Divine warning to retire for a time to Egypt (mark the recurring expression, "the young child and his mother"—the young child taking the lead, Mt 2:11,13,14,20,21), whither, accordingly, they were conducted by Joseph (Mt 2:14). The sojourn was not a long one. Herod’s death brought permission to return, but as Archelaus, Herod’s son (the worst of them), reigned in Judea in his father’s stead (not king, but "ethnarch"), Joseph was directed to withdraw to Galilee; hence it came about that he and Mary, with the babe, found themselves again in Nazareth, where Luke anew takes up the story (Lu 2:39), the thread of which had been broken by the incidents in Matthew. Matthew sees in the return from Egypt a refulfilling of the experiences of Israel (Ho 11:1), and in the settling in Nazareth a connection with the Old Testament prophecies of Christ’s lowly estate (Isa 11:1, netser, "branch"; Zec 3:8; 6:12, etc.).

7. Questions and Objections:

The objections to the credibility of the narratives of the Virgin Birth have already partly been adverted to. (See further the articles on MARY; VIRGIN BIRTH; and the writer’s volume, The Virgin Birth of Christ.)

(1) The Virgin Birth.

The narratives in Matthew and Luke are attested by all manuscripts and versions genuine parts of their respective Gospels, and as coming to us in their integrity. The narrative of Luke is generally recognized as resting on an Aramaic basis, which, from its diction and the primitive character of its conceptions, belongs to the earliest age. While in Luke’s narrative everything is presented from the standpoint of Mary, in Matthew it is Joseph who is in the forefront, suggesting that the virgin mother is the source of information in the one case, and Joseph himself in the other. The narratives are complementary, not contradictory. That Mark and John do not contain narratives of the Virgin Birth cannot be wondered at, when it is remembered that Mark’s Gospel begins of purpose with the Baptism of John, and that the Fourth Gospel aims at setting forth the Divine descent, not the circumstances of the earthly nativity. "The Word became flesh" (Joh 1:14)—everything is already implied in that. Neither can it be objected to that Paul does not in his letters or public preaching base upon so essentially private a fact as the miraculous conception—at a time, too, when Mary probably still lived. With the exception of the narrowest sect of the Jewish Ebionites and some of the Gnostic sects, the Virgin Birth was universally accepted in the early church.

(2) The Genealogies

(Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-28)

Difficulty is felt with the genealogies in Matthew and Luke (one descending, the other ascending), which, while both professing to trace the descent of Jesus from David and Abraham (Luke from Adam), yet go entirely apart in the pedigree after David. See on this the article GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST. A favorite view is that Matthew exhibits the legal, Luke the natural descent of Jesus. There is plausibility in the supposition that though, in form, a genealogy of Joseph, Luke’s is really the genealogy of Mary. It was not customary, it is true, to make out pedigrees of females, but the case here was clearly exceptional, and the passing of Joseph into the family of his father-in-law Heli would enable the list to be made out in his name. Celsus, in the 2nd century, appears thus to have understood it when he derides the notion that through so lowly a woman as the carpenter’s wife, Jesus should trace His lineage up to the first man (Origen, Contra Celsus, ii.32; Origen’s reply proceeds on the same assumption. Compare article on" Genealogies" in Kitto, II).

II. The Years of Silence—the Twelfth Year.

1. The Human Development:

(Luke 2:40,52)

With the exception of one fragment of incident—that of the visit to Jerusalem and the Temple in His 12th year—the Canonical Gospels are silent as to the history of Jesus from the return to Nazareth till His baptism by John. This long period, which the Apocryphal Gospels crowd with silly fables (see APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS), the inspired records leave to be regarded as being what it was—a period of quiet development of mind and body, of outward uneventfulness, of silent garnering of experience in the midst of the Nazareth surroundings. Jesus "grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him .... advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Lu 2:40,52). The incarnation was a true acceptance of humanity, with all its sinless limitations of growth and development. Not a hint is offered of that omniscience or omnipotence which theology has not infrequently imputed to Jesus even as child and boy. His schooling was probably that of the ordinary village child (He could read, Lu 4:17 ff, and write, Joh 8:6-8); He wrought at the carpenter’s bench (compare Mr 6:3; Justin Martyr, following tradition, speaks of Him as making "plows and yokes," Dial., 88). His gentleness and grace of character endeared Him to all who knew Him (Lu 2:52). No stain of sin clouded His vision of Divine things. His after-history shows that His mind was nourished on the Scriptures; nor, as He pondered psalms and prophets, could His soul remain unvisited by presentiments, growing to convictions, that He was the One in whom their predictions were destined to be realized.

2. Jesus in the Temple:

(Luke 2:41-50)

Every year, as was the custom of the Jews, Joseph and Mary went, with their friends and neighbors, in companies, to Jerusalem to the Passover. When Jesus was 12 years old, it would seem that, for the first time, He was permitted to accompany them. It would be to Him a strange and thrilling experience. Everything He saw—the hallowed sites, the motley crowd, the service of the temple, the very shocks His moral consciousness would receive from contact with abounding scandals—would intensify His feeling of His own unique relation to the Father. Every relationship was for the time suspended and merged to His thought in this higher one. It was His Father’s city whose streets He trod; His Father’s house He visited for prayer; His Father’s ordinance the crowds were assembled to observe; His Father’s name, too, they were dishonoring by their formalism and hypocrisy. It is this exalted mood of the boy Jesus which explains the scene that follows—the only one rescued from oblivion in this interval of growth and preparation. When the time came for the busy caravan to return to Nazareth, Jesus, acting, doubtless, from highest impulse, "tarried behind" (verse 43). In the large company His absence was not at first missed, but when, at the evening halting-place, it became known that He was not with them, His mother and Joseph returned in deep distress to Jerusalem. Three days elapsed before they found Him in the place where naturally they should have looked first—His Father’s house. There, in one of the halls or chambers where the rabbis were wont to teach, they discovered Him seated "in the midst," at the feet of the men of learning, hearing them discourse, asking questions, as pupils were permitted to do, and giving answers which awakened astonishment by their penetration and wisdom (Lu 2:46,47). Those who heard Him may well have thought that before them was one of the great rabbis of the future! Mary, much surprised, asked in remonstrance, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us?" evoking from Jesus the memorable reply, "How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?" or "about my Father’s business?" the King James Version (Lu 2:48,49). Here was the revelation of a selfconsciousness that Mary might have been prepared for in Jesus, but perhaps, in the common intercourse of life, was tending to lose sight of. The lesson was not unneeded. Yet, once it had been given, Jesus went back with Joseph and Mary to Nazareth, and "was subject unto them"; and Mary did not forget the teaching of the incident (Lu 2:51).

III. The Forerunner and the Baptism.

1. The Preaching of John:

(Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18)

Time passed, and when Jesus was nearing His 30th year, Judea was agitated by the message of a stern preacher of righteousness who had appeared in the wilderness by the Jordan, proclaiming the imminent approach of the kingdom of heaven, summoning to repentance, and baptizing those who confessed their sins. Tiberius had succeeded Augustus on the imperial throne; Judea, with Samaria, was now a Roman province, under the procurator Pontius Pilate; the rest of Palestine was divided between the tetrarchs Herod (Galilee) and Philip (the eastern parts). The Baptist thus appeared at the time when the land had lost the last vestige of self-government, was politically divided, and was in great ecclesiastical confusion. Nurtured in the deserts (Lu 1:80), John’s very appearance was a protest against the luxury and self-seeking of the age. He had been a Nazarite from his birth; he fed on the simplest products of nature—locusts and wild honey; his coarse garb of camel’s hair and leathern girdle was a return to the dress of Elijah (2Ki 1:8), in whose spirit and power he appeared (Lu 1:17) (see JOHN THE BAPTIST).

The Coming Christ.

John’s preaching of the kingdom was unlike that of any of the revolutionaries of his age. It was a kingdom which could be entered only through moral preparation. It availed nothing for the Jew simply that he was a son of Abraham. The Messiah was at hand. He (John) was but a voice in the wilderness sent to prepare the way for that Greater than himself. The work of the Christ would be one of judgment and of mercy. He would lay the axe at the root of the tree—would winnow the chaff from the wheat—yet would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:10-12; Lu 3:15-17). Those who professed acceptance of his message, with its condition of repentance, John baptized with water at the Jordan or in its neighborhood (compare Mt 3:6; Joh 1:28; 3:23).

2. Jesus Is Baptized:

(Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21,22)

John’s startling words made a profound impression. All classes from every part of the land, including Pharisees and Sadducees (Mt 3:7), came to his baptism. John was not deceived. He saw how little change of heart underlay it all. The Regenerator had not yet come. But one day there appeared before him One whom he intuitively recognized as different from all the rest—as, indeed, the Christ whose coming it was his to herald. John, up to this time, does not seem to have personally known Jesus (compare Joh 1:31). He must, however, have heard of Him; he had, besides, received a sign by which the Messiah should be recognized (Joh 1:33); and now, when Jesus presented Himself, Divinely pure in aspect, asking baptism at his hands, the conviction was instantaneously flashed on his mind, that this was He. But how should he, a sinful man, baptize this Holy One? "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" (Mt 3:14). The question is one which forces itself upon ourselves—How should Jesus seek or receive a "baptism of repentance"? Jesus Himself puts it on the ground of meetness. "Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Mt 3:15). The Head was content to enter by the same gateway as the members to His specific vocation in the service of the kingdom. In submitting to the baptism, He formally identified Himself with the expectation of the kingdom and with its ethical demands; separated Himself from the evil of His nation, doubtless with confession of its sins; and devoted Himself to His life-task in bringing in the Messianic salvation. The significance of the rite as marking His consecration to, and entrance upon, His Messianic career, is seen in what follows. As He ascended from the water, while still "praying" (Lu 3:21), the heavens were opened, the Spirit of God descended like a dove upon Him, and a voice from heaven declared: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt 3:16,17). It is needless to inquire whether anyone besides John (compare Joh 1:33) and Jesus (Mt 3:16; Mr 1:10) received this vision or heard these words; it was for them, not for others, the vision was primarily intended. To Christ’s consecration of Himself to His calling, there was now added the spiritual equipment necessary for the doing of His work. He went forward with the seal of the Father’s acknowledgment upon Him.

IV. The Temptation.

1. Temptation Follows Baptism:

(Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:13,14; Luke 4:1-13)

On the narrative of the baptism in the first three Gospels there follows at once the account of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The psychological naturalness of the incident is generally acknowledged. The baptism of Jesus was a crisis in His experience. He had been plenished by the Spirit for His work; the heavens had been opened to Him, and His mind was agitated by new thoughts and emotions; He was conscious of the possession of new powers. There was need for a period of retirement, of still reflection, of coming to a complete understanding with Himself as to the meaning of the task to which He stood committed, the methods He should employ, the attitude He should take up toward popular hopes and expectations. He would wish to be alone. The Spirit of God led Him (Mt 4:1; Mr 1:12; Lu 4:1) whither His own spirit also impelled. It is with a touch of similar motive that Buddhist legend makes Buddha to be tempted by the evil spirit Mara after he has attained enlightenment.

2. Nature of the Temptation:

The scene of the temptation was the wilderness of Judea. Jesus was there 40 days, during which, it is told, He neither ate nor drank (compare the fasts of Moses and Elijah, Ex 24:18; 34:28; De 9:18; 1Ki 19:8). Mark adds, "He was with the wild beasts" (verse 13). The period was probably one of intense self-concentration. During the whole of it He endured temptations of Satan (Mr 1:13); but the special assaults came at the end (Mt 4:2 ff; Lu 4:2 ). We assume here a real tempter and real temptations—the question of diabolic agency being considered after. This, however, does not settle the form of the temptations. The struggle was probably an inward one. It can hardly be supposed that Jesus was literally transported by the devil to a pinnacle of the temple, then to a high mountain, then, presumably, back again to the wilderness. The narrative must have come from Jesus Himself, and embodies an ideal or parabolic element. "The history of the temptation," Lange says, "Jesus afterwards communicated to His disciples in the form of a real narrative, clothed in symbolical language" (Commentary on Matthew, 83, English translation).

3. Stages of the Temptation:

The stages of the temptation were three—each in its own way a trial of the spirit of obedience.

(1) The first temptation was to distrust. Jesus, after His long fast, was hungry. He had become conscious also of supernatural powers. The point on which the temptation laid hold was His sense of hunger—the most over-mastering of appetites. "If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." The design was to excite distrustful and rebellious thoughts, and lead Jesus to use the powers entrusted to Him in an unlawful way, for private and selfish ends. The temptation was promptly met by a quotation from Scripture: "Man shall not live by bread alone," etc. (Mt 4:4; Lu 4:4; compare De 8:3). If Jesus was in this position, it was His Father who had brought Him there for purposes of trial. Man has a higher life than can be sustained on bread; a life, found in depending on God’s word, and obeying it at whatever cost.

(2) The second temptation (in Luke the third) was to presumption. Jesus is borne in spirit (compare Eze 40:1,2) to a pinnacle of the temple. From this dizzy elevation He is invited to cast Himself down, relying on the Divine promise: "He shall give His angels charge over thee," etc. (compare Ps 91:11,12). In this way an easy demonstration of His Messiahship would be given to the crowds below. The temptation was to overstep those bounds of humility and dependence which were imposed on Him as Son; to play with signs and wonders in His work as Messiah. But again the tempter is foiled by the word: "Thou shalt not make trial of (try experiments with, propose tests, put to the proof) the Lord thy God" (Mt 4:7; Lu 4:12; compare De 6:16).

(3) The third temptation (Luke’s second) was to worldly sovereignty, gained by some small concession to Satan. From some lofty elevation—no place on a geographical map—the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them are flashed before Christ’s mind, and all are offered to Him on condition of one little act of homage to the tempter. It was the temptation to choose the easier path by some slight pandering to falsehood, and Jesus definitely repelled it by the saying: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Mt 4:10; Lu 4:8). Jesus had chosen His path. The Father’s way of the cross would be adhered to.

Its Typical Character.

The stages of the temptation typify the whole round of Satanic assault on man through body, mind, and spirit (Lu 4:13; compare 1Joh 2:16), and the whole round of Messianic temptation. Jesus was constantly being tempted

(a) to spare Himself;

(b) to gratify the Jewish signseekers;

(c) to gain power by sacrifice of the right.

In principle the victory was gained over all at the commencement. His way was henceforth clear.



I. The Testimonies of the Baptist.

1. The Synoptics and John:

While the Synoptics pass immediately from the temptation of Jesus to the ministry in Galilee the imprisonment of the Baptist (Mt 4:12; Mr 1:14,15; Lu 4:14), the Fourth Gospel furnishes the account, full of interest, of the earlier ministry of Jesus in Judea while the Baptist was still at liberty.

2. Threefold Witness of the Baptist:

(John 1:19-37)

The Baptist had announced Christ’s coming; had baptized Him when He appeared; it was now his privilege to testify to Him as having come, and to introduce to Jesus His first disciples.

a) First Testimony—Jesus and Popular Messianic Expectation:

(John 1:19-28)

John’s work had assumed proportions which made it impossible for the ecclesiastical authorities any longer to ignore it (compare Lu 3:15). A deputation consisting of priests and Levites was accordingly sent to John, where he was baptizing at Bethany beyond Jordan, to put to him categorical questions about his mission. Who was he? And by what authority did—he baptize? Was he the Christ? or Elijah? or the expected prophet? (compare Joh 6:14; 7:4; Mt 16:14). To these questions John gave distinct and straightforward replies. He was not the Christ, not Elijah, not the prophet. His answers grow briefer every time, "I am not the Christ"; "I am not"; "No." Who was he then? The answer was emphatic. He was but a "voice" (compare Isa 40:3)—a preparer of the way of the Lord. In their midst already stood One—not necessarily in the crowd at that moment—with whose greatness his was not to be compared (Joh 1:26,27). John utterly effaces himself before Christ.

b) Second Testimony—Christ and the Sin of the World:

(John 1:29-34)

The day after the interview with the Jerusalem deputies, John saw Jesus coming to him—probably fresh from the temptation—and bore a second and wonderful testimony to His Messiahship. Identifying Jesus with the subject of his former testimonies, and stating the ground of his knowledge in the sign God had given him (1:30-34), he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world" (1:29). The words are rich in suggestion regarding the character of Jesus, and the nature, universality and efficacy of His work (compare 1 Joh 3:5). The "Lamb" may point specifically to the description of the vicariously Suffering Servant of Yahweh in Isa 53:11.

c) Third Testimony—Christ and the Duty of the Disciple:

(John 1:35-37)

The third testimony was borne "again on the morrow," when John was standing with two of his disciples (one Andrew, 1:40, the other doubtless the evangelist himself). Pointing to Jesus, the Baptist repeated his former words, "Behold, the Lamb of God." While the words are the same, the design was different. In the first "behold" the idea is the recognition of Christ; in the second there is a call to duty—a hint to follow Jesus. On this hint the disciples immediately acted (1:37). It is next to be seen how this earliest "following" of Jesus grew.

II. The First Disciples.

1. Spiritual Accretion:

(John 1:37-51)

John’s narrative shows that Jesus gathered His disciples, less by a series of distinct calls, than by a process of spiritual accretion. Men were led to Him, then accepted by Him. This process of selection left Jesus at the close of the second day with five real and true followers. The history confutes the idea that it was first toward the close of His ministry that Jesus became known to His disciples as the Messiah. In all the Gospels it was as the Christ that the Baptist introduced Jesus; it was as the Christ that the first disciples accepted and confessed Him (Joh 1:41,45,49).

a) Andrew and John—Discipleship as the Fruit of Spiritual Converse:

(John 1:37-40)

The first of the group were Andrew and John—the unnamed disciple of Joh 1:40. These followed Jesus in consequence of their Master’s testimony. It was, however, the few hours’ converse they had with Jesus in His own abode that actually decided them. To Christ’s question, "What seek ye?" their answer was practically "Thyself." "The mention of the time—the 10th hour, i.e. 10 AM—is one of the small traits that mark John. He is here looking back on the date of his own spiritual birth" (Westcott).

b) Simon Peter—Discipleship a Result of Personal Testimony:

(John 1:41,42)

John and Andrew had no sooner found Christ for themselves ("We have found the Messiah," Joh 1:41) than they hastened to tell others of their discovery. Andrew at once sought out Simon, his brother, and brought him to Jesus; so, later, Philip sought Nathanael (Joh 1:45). Christ’s unerring eye read at once the quality of the man whom Andrew introduced to Him. "Thou art Simon the son of John: thou shalt be called Cephas"—"Rock" or "Stone" (1:42). Mt 16:18, therefore, is not the original bestowal of this name, but the confirmation of it. The name is the equivalent of "Peter" (Petros), and was given to Simon, not with any official connotation, but because of the strength and clearness of his convictions. His general steadfastness is not disproved by His one unhappy failure. (Was it thus the apostle acquired the name "Peter"?)

c) Philip—the Result of Scriptural Evidence:

(John 1:43,14)

The fourth disciple, Philip, was called by Jesus Himself, when about to depart for Galilee (Joh 1:43). Friendship may have had its influence on Philip (like the foregoing, he also was from Bethsaida of Galilee, Joh 1:44), but that which chiefly decided him was the correspondence of what he found in Jesus with the prophetic testimonies (Joh 1:45).

d) Nathanael—Discipleship an Effect of Heart-Searching Power:

(John 1:45-51)

Philip sought Nathanael (of Cana of Galilee, Joh 21:2)—the same probably as Bartholomew the Apostle—and told him he had found Him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets had written (Joh 1:45). Nathanael doubted, on the ground that the Messiah was not likely to have His origin in an obscure place like Nazareth (Joh 1:46; compare Joh 7:52). Philip’s wise answer was, "Come and see"; and when Nathanael came, the Lord met him with a word which speedily rid him of his hesitations. First, Jesus attested His seeker’s sincerity ("Behold, an Israelite indeed," etc., Joh 1:47); then, on Nathanael expressing surprise, revealed to him His knowledge of a recent secret act of meditation or devotion ("when thou wast under the fig tree," etc., Joh 1:48). The sign was sufficient to convince Nathanael that he was in the presence of a superhuman, nay a Divine, Being, therefore, the Christ—"Son of God .... King of Israel" (Joh 1:49). Jesus met his faith with further self-disclosure. Nathanael had believed on comparatively slight evidence; he would see greater things: heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (Joh 1:51). The allusion is to Jacob’s vision (Ge 28:10-22)—a Scripture which had possibly been theme of Philip’s meditation in his privacy. Jesus puts Himself in place of that mystic ladder as the medium of reopened communication between heaven and earth.

2. "Son of Man" and "Son of God":

The name "Son of Man"—a favorite designation of Jesus for Himself—appears here for the first time in the Gospels. It is disputed whether it was a current Messianic title (see SON OF MAN), but at least it had this force on the lips of Jesus Himself, denoting Him as the possessor of a true humanity, and as standing in a representative relation to mankind universally. It is probably borrowed from Da 7:13 and appears in the Book of Enoch (see APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE). The higher title, "Son of God," given to Jesus by Nathanael, could not, of course, as yet carry with it the transcendental associations of John’s Prologue (Joh 1:1,14,18), but it evidently conveyed an idea of superhuman dignity and unique relation to God, such as the better class of minds would seem to have attributed to the Messiah (compare Joh 5:18; 10:33 ff; Mt 26:63).

III. The First Events.

An interval of a few weeks is occupied by a visit of Jesus to Cana of Galilee (Joh 2:1 ) and a brief sojourn in Capernaum (Joh 2:12); after which Jesus returned to Jerusalem to the Passover as the most appropriate place for His public manifestation of Himself as Messiah (Joh 2:13 ). The notes of time in John suggest that the Passover (beginning of April, 27 AD) took place about three months after the baptism by John (compare 1:43; 2:1,12).

1. The First Miracle:

(Joh 2:1-11)

Prior to His public manifestation, a more private unfolding of Christ’s glory was granted to the disciples at the marriage feast of Cana of Galilee (compare Joh 2:11). The marriage was doubtless that of some relative of the family, and the presence of Jesus at the feast, with His mother, brethren and disciples (as Joseph no more appears, it may be concluded that he was dead), is significant as showing that His religion is not one of antagonism to natural relations. The marriage festivities lasted seven days, and toward the close the wine provided for the guests gave out. Mary interposed with an indirect suggestion that Jesus might supply the want. Christ’s reply, literally, "Woman, what is that to thee and to me?" (Joh 2:4), is not intended to convey the least tinge of reproof (compare Westcott, in the place cited.), but intimates to Mary that His actions were henceforth to be guided by a rule other than hers (compare Lu 2:51). This, however, as Mary saw (Joh 2:5), did not preclude an answer to her desire. Six waterpots of stone stood near, and Jesus ordered these to be filled with water (the quantity was large; about 50 gallons); then when the water was drawn off it was found changed into a nobler element—a wine purer and better than could have been obtained from any natural vintage. The ruler of the feast, in ignorance of its origin, expressed surprise at its quality (Joh 2:10). The miracle was symbolical—a "sign" (Joh 2:11)—and may be contrasted with the first miracle of Moses—turning the water into blood (Ex 7:20). It points to the contrast between the old dispensation and the new, and to the work of Christ as a transforming, enriching and glorifying of the natural, through Divine grace and power.

After a brief stay at Capernaum (Joh 2:12), Jesus went up to Jerusalem to keep the Passover. There it was His design formally to manifest Himself. Other "signs" He wrought at the feast, leading many to believe on Him—not, however, with a deep or enduring faith (Joh 2:23-25)—but the special act by which He signalized His appearance was His public cleansing of the temple from the irreligious trafficking with which it had come to be associated.

2. The First Passover, and Cleansing of the Temple:

(John 2:13-25)

A like incident is related by the Synoptics at the close of Christ’s ministry (Mt 21:12,13; Mr 11:15-18; Lu 19:45,46), and it is a question whether the act was actually repeated, or whether the other evangelists, who do not narrate the events of the early ministry, simply record it out of its chronological order. In any case, the act was a fitting inauguration of the Lord’s work. A regular market was held in the outer court of the temple. Here the animals needed for sacrifice could be purchased, foreign money exchanged, and the doves, which were the offerings of the poor, be obtained. It was a busy, tumultuous, noisy and unholy scene, and the "zeal" of Jesus burned within Him—had doubtless often done so before—as He witnessed it. Arming Himself with a scourge of cords, less as a weapon of offense, than as a symbol of authority, He descended with resistless energy upon the wrangling throng, drove out the dealers and the cattle, overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and commanded the doves to be taken away. Let them not profane His Father’s house (Joh 2:14-16). No one seems to have opposed. All felt that a prophet was among them, and could not resist the overpowering authority with which He spake and acted. By and by, when their courage revived, they asked Him for a "sign" in evidence of His right to do such things. Jesus gave them no sign such as they demanded, but uttered an enigmatic word, and left them to reflect on it, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Joh 2:19). The authenticity of the saying is sufficiently vouched for by the perverted use made of it at Christ’s trial (Mt 26:61 parallel). It is a word based on the foresight which Christ had that the conflict now commencing was to end in His rejection and death. "The true way to destroy the Temple, in the eyes of Jesus, was to slay the Messiah. .... If it is in the person of the Messiah that the Temple is laid in ruins, it is in His person it shall be raised again" (Godet). The disciples, after the resurrection, saw the meaning of the word (Joh 2:22).

3. The Visit of Nicodemus:

(John 3:1-12)

As a sequel to these stirring events Jesus had a nocturnal visitor in the person of Nicodemus—a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, a "teacher of Israel" (Joh 3:10), apparently no longer young (Joh 3:4). His coming by night argues, besides some fear of man, a constitutional timidity of disposition (compare Joh 19:39); but the interesting thing is that he did come, showing that he had been really impressed by Christ’s words and works. One recognizes in him a man of candor and uprightness of spirit, yet without adequate apprehensions of Christ Himself, and of the nature of Christ’s kingdom. Jesus he was prepared to acknowledge as a Divinely-commissioned teacher—one whose mission was accredited by miracle (Joh 3:2). He was interested in the kingdom, but, as a morally living man, had no doubt of his fitness to enter into it. Jesus had but to teach and he would understand.

(1) The New Birth.

Jesus in His reply laid His finger at once on the defective point in His visitor’s relation to Himself and to His kingdom: "Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:3); "Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:5). Nicodemus was staggered at this demand for a spiritual new birth. There is reason to believe that proselytes were baptized on being received into the Jewish church, and their baptism was called a "new birth." Nicodemus would therefore be familiar with the expression, but could not see that it had any applicability to him. Jesus teaches him, on the other hand, that he also needs a new birth, and this, not through water only, but through the Spirit. The change was mysterious, yet plainly manifest in its effects (Joh 3:7,8). If Nicodemus did not understand these "earthly things"—the evidence of which lay all around him—how should he understand "heavenly things," the things pertaining to salvation?

(2) "Heavenly Things."

These "heavenly things" Jesus now proceeds to unfold to Nicodemus: "As Moses lifted up the serpent," etc. (Joh 3:14). The "lifting up" is a prophecy of the cross (compare 12:32-34). The brazen serpent is the symbol of sin conquered and destroyed by the death of Christ. What follows in Joh 3:16-21 is probably the evangelist’s expansion of this theme—God’s love the source of salvation (Joh 3:16), God’s purpose not the world’s condemnation, but its salvation (Joh 3:17,18) the self-judgment of sin (Joh 3:19 ).

4. Jesus and John:

(John 3:22-36)

Retiring from Jerusalem, Jesus commenced a ministry in Judea (Joh 3:22). It lasted apparently about 6 months. The earlier Gospels pass over it. This is accounted for by the fact that the ministry in Judea was still preparatory. Jesus had publicly asserted His Messianic authority. A little space is now allowed to test the result. Meanwhile Jesus descends again to the work of prophetic preparation. His ministry at this stage is hardly distinguishable from John’s. He summons to the baptism of repentance. His disciples, not Himself, administer the rite (Joh 3:23; 4:2); hence the sort of rivalry that sprang up between His baptism and that of the forerunner (Joh 3:22-26). John was baptizing at the time at Aenon, on the western side of the Jordan; Jesus somewhere in the neighborhood. Soon the greater teacher began to eclipse the less. "All men came to Him" (3:26). John’s reply showed how pure his mind was from the narrow, grudging spirit which characterized his followers. To him it was no grievance, but the fulfillment of his joy, that men should be flocking to Jesus. He was not the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom. They themselves had heard him testify, "I am not the Christ." It lay in the nature of things that Jesus must increase; he must decrease (3:27-30). Explanatory words follow (3:31-36).

IV. Journey to Galilee—the Woman of Samaria.

1. Withdrawal to Galilee:

Toward the close of this Judean ministry the Baptist appears to have been cast into prison for his faithfulness in reproving Herod Antipas for taking his brother Philip’s wife (compare Joh 3:24; Mt 14:3-5 parallel). It seems most natural to connect the departure to Galilee in Joh 4:3 with that narrated in Mt 3:13 parallel, though some think the imprisonment of the Baptist did not take place till later. The motive which Joh gives was the hostility of the Pharisees, but it was the imprisonment of the Baptist which led Jesus to commence, at the time He did, an independent ministry. The direct road to Galilee lay through Samaria; hence the memorable encounter with the woman at that place.

2. The Living Water:

Jesus, being wearied, paused to rest Himself at Jacob’s well, near a town called Sychar, now ‘Askar. It was about the sixth hour—or 6 o’clock in the evening. The time of year is determined by Joh 4:35 to be "four months" before harvest, i.e. December (there is no reason for not taking this literally). It suits the evening hour that the woman of Samaria came out to draw water. (Some, on a different reckoning, take the hour to be noon.) Jesus opened the conversation by asking from the woman a draught from her pitcher. The proverbial hatred between Jews and Samaritans filled the woman with surprise that Jesus should thus address Himself to her. Still greater was her surprise when, as the conversation proceeded, Jesus announced Himself as the giver of a water of which, if a man drank, he should never thirst again (Joh 4:13,14). Only gradually did His meaning penetrate her mind, "Sir, give me this water," etc. (Joh 4:15). The request of Jesus that she would call her husband led to the discovery that Jesus knew all the secrets of her life. She was before a prophet (Joh 4:19). As in the case iof Nathanael, the heart-searching power of Christ’s word convinced her of His Divine claim.

3. The True Worship:

The conversation next turned upon the right place of worship. The Samaritans had a temple of their own on Mount Gerizim; the Jews, on the other hand, held to the exclusive validity of the temple at Jerusalem. Which was right? Jesus in His reply, while pronouncing for the Jews as the custodians of God’s salvation (Joh 4:22), makes it plain that distinction of places is no longer a matter of any practical importance. A change was imminent which would substitute a universal religion for one of special times and places (Joh 4:20). He enunciates the great principle of the new dispensation that God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. Finally, when she spoke of the Messiah, Jesus made Himself definitely known to her as the Christ. To this poor Samaritan woman, with her receptive heart, He unveils Himself more plainly than He had done to priests and rulers (Joh 4:26).

4. Work at Its Reward:

The woman went home and became an evangelist to her people, with notable results (Joh 4:28,39). Jesus abode with them two days and confirmed the impression made by her testimony (Joh 4:40-42). Meanwhile, He impressed on His disciples the need of earnest sowing and reaping in the service of the Kingdom, assuring them of unfailing reward for both sower and reaper (Joh 4:35-38). He Himself was their Great Example (Joh 4:34).



1. The Scene:

Galilee was divided into upper Galilee and lower Galilee. It has already been remarked that upper Galilee was inhabited by a mixed population—hence called "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Mt 4:15). The highroads of commerce ran through it. It was "the way of the sea" (the King James Version)—a scene of constant traffic. The people were rude, ignorant, and superstitious, and were densely crowded together in towns and villages. About 160 BC there were only a few Jews in the midst of a large heathen population; but by the time of Christ the Jewish element had greatly increased. The busiest portion of this busy district was round the Sea of Galilee, at the Northeast corner of which stood Capernaum—wealthy and cosmopolitan. In Nazareth, indeed, Jesus met with a disappointing reception (Lu 4:16-30; Mt 13:54-57; compare Joh 4:43-45); yet in Galilee generally He found a freer spirit and greater receptiveness than among the stricter traditionalists of Judea.

2. The Time:

It is assumed here that Jesus returned to Galilee in December, 27 AD, and that His ministry there lasted till late in 29 AD (see "Chronology" above). On the two years’ scheme of the public ministry, the Passover of Joh 6:4 has to be taken as the second in Christ’s ministry—therefore as occurring at an interval of only 3 or 4 months after the return. This seems impossible in view of the crowding of events it involves in so short a time—opening incidents, stay in Capernaum (Mt 4:13), three circuits in "all Galilee" (Mt 4:23-25 parallel; Lu 8:1-4; Mt 9:35-38; Mr 6:6), lesser journeys and excursions (Sermon on Mount: Gadara); and the dislocations it necessitates, e.g. the plucking of ears of corn (about Passover time) must be placed after the feeding of the 5,000, etc. It is simpler to adhere to the three years’ scheme.

A division of the Galilean ministry may then fitly be made into two periods—one preceding, the other succeeding the Mission of the Twelve in Mt 10 parallel. One reason for this division is that after the Mission of the Twelve the order of events is the same in the first three evangelists till the final departure from Galilee.

First Period—From the Beginning of the Ministry in Galilee till the Mission of the Twelve

I. Opening Incidents.

1. Healing of Nobleman’s Son:

(Joh 4:43-54)

From sympathetic Samaria (Joh 4:39), Jesus had journeyed to unsympathetic Galilee, and first to Cana, where His first miracle had been wrought. The reports of His miracles in Judea had come before Him (Joh 4:45), and it was mainly His reputation as a miracle-worker which led a nobleman—a courtier or officer at Herod’s court—to seek Him at Cana on behalf of his son, who was near to death. Jesus rebuked the sign-seeking spirit (Joh 4:48), but, on the fervent appeal being repeated, He bade the nobleman go his way: his son lived. The man’s prayer had been, "Come down"; but he had faith to receive the word of Jesus (Joh 4:50), and on his way home received tidings of his son’s recovery. The nobleman, with his whole household, was won for Jesus (Joh 4:53). This is noted as the second of Christ’s Galilean miracles (Joh 4:54).

2. The Visit to Nazareth:

(Matthew 4:13; Luke 4:16-30)

A very different reception awaited Him at Nazareth,"his own country," to which He next came. We can scarcely take the incident recorded in Lu 4:16-30 to be the same as that in Mt 13:54-58, though Matthew’s habit of grouping makes this not impossible. The Sabbath had come, and on His entering the synagogue, as was His wont, the repute He had won led to His being asked to read. The Scripture He selected (or which came in the order of the day) was Isa 61:1 ff (the fact that Jesus was able to read from the synagogue-roll is interesting as bearing on His knowledge of Hebrew), and from this He proceeded to amaze His hearers by declaring that this Scripture was now fulfilled in their ears (Lu 4:21). The "words of grace" he uttered are not given, but it can be understood that, following the prophet’s guidance, He would hold Himself forth as the predicted "Servant of Yahweh," sent to bring salvation to the poor, the bound, the broken-hearted, and for this purpose endowed with the fullness of the Spirit. The idea of the passage in Isa is that of the year of jubilee, when debts were canceled, inheritances restored, and slaves set free, and Jesus told them He had come to inaugurate that "acceptable year of the Lord." At first He was listened to with admiration, then, as the magnitude of the claims He was making became apparent to His audience, a very different spirit took possession of them. ‘Who was this that spoke thus?’ ‘Was it not Joseph’s son?’ (Lu 4:22). They were disappointed, too, that Jesus showed no disposition to gratify them by working before them any of the miracles of which they had heard so much (Lu 4:23). Jesus saw the gathering storm, but met it resolutely. He told His hearers He had not expected any better reception, and in reply to their reproach that He had wrought miracles elsewhere, but had wrought none among them, quoted examples of prophets who had done the same thing (Elijah, Elisha, Lu 4:24-28). This completed the exasperation of the Nazarenes, who, springing forward, dragged Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, and would have thrown Him down, had something in the aspect of Jesus not restrained them. With one of those looks we read of occasionally in the Gospels, He seems to have overawed His townsmen, and, passing in safety through their midst, left the place (Lu 4:28-30).

3. Call of the Four Disciples:

(Matthew 4:17-22; Mark 1:16-22; Luke 5:1-11)

After leaving Nazareth Jesus made His way to Capernaum (probably Tell Hum), which thereafter seems to have been His headquarters. He "dwelt" there (Mt 4:13). It is called in Mt 9:1, "his own city." Before teaching in Capernaum self, however, He appears to have opened His ministry by evangelizing along the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Mt 4:18; Mr 1:16; Lu 5:1), and there, at Bethsaida (on topographical questions, see special articles), He took His first step in gathering His chosen disciples more closely around Him. Hitherto, though attached to His person and cause, the pairs of fisher brothers, Simon and Andrew, James and John—these last the "sons of Zebedee"—had not been in constant attendance upon Him. Since the return from Jerusalem, they had gone back to their ordinary avocations. The four were "partners" (Lu 5:10). They had "hired servants" (Mr 1:20); therefore were moderately well off. The time had now come when they were to leave "all," and follow Jesus entirely.

a) The Draught of Fishes:

(Luke 5:1-9)

Luke alone records the striking miracle which led to the call. Jesus had been teaching the multitude from a boat borrowed from Simon, and now at the close He bade Simon put out into the deep, and let down his nets. Peter told Jesus they had toiled all night in vain, but he would obey His word. The result was an immense draught of fishes, so that the nets were breaking, and the other company had to be called upon for help. Both boats were filled and in danger of sinking. Peter’s cry in so wonderful a presence was, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."

b) "Fishers of Men":

The miracle gave Jesus opportunity for the word He wished to speak. It is here that Mt and Mr take up the story. The boats had been brought to shore when, first to Simon and Andrew, afterward to James and John (engaged in "mending their nets," Mt 4:21; Mr 1:19), the call was given:"Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once all was left—boats, nets, friends—and they followed Him. Their experience taught them to have large expectations from Christ.

4. At Capernaum:

(Matthew 4:13; Luke 4:31)

Jesus is now found in Capernaum. An early Sabbath—perhaps the first of His stated residence in the city—was marked by notable events. The Sabbath found Jesus as usual in the synagogue—now as teacher. The manner of His teaching is specially noticed: "He taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes" (Mr 1:22). The scribes gave forth nothing of their own.

a) Christ’s Teaching:

(Mark 1:22,27; Luke 4:32)

They but repeated the dicta of the great authorities of the past. It was a surprise to the people to find in Jesus One whose wisdom, like waters from a clear fountain, came fresh and sparkling from His own lips. The authority also with which Jesus spoke commanded attention. He sought support in the opinion of no others, but gave forth His statements with firmness, decision, dignity and emphasis.

b) The Demoniac in the Synagogue:

(Mark 1:23-27; Luke 4:33-37)

While Jesus was teaching an extraordinary incident occurred. A man in the assembly, described as possessed by "an unclean spirit" (Mr 1:23; Lu 4:33) broke forth in cries, addressing Jesus by name ("Jesus, thou Nazarene"), speaking of Him as "the Holy One of God," and asking "What have we to do with thee? Art thou come to destroy us?" The diseased consciousness of the sufferer bore a truer testimony to Christ’s dignity, holiness and power than most of those present could have given, and instinctively, but truly, construed His coming as meaning destruction to the empire of the demons. At Christ’s word, after a terrible paroxysm, from which, however, the man escaped unhurt (Lu 4:35), the demon was cast out. More than ever the people were "amazed" at the word which had such power (Mr 1:27).

Demon-Possession: Its Reality.

This is the place to say a word on this terrible form of malady—demon-possession—met with so often in the Gospels. Was it a reality? Or a hallucination? Did Jesus believe in it? It is difficult to read the Gospels, and not answer the last question in the affirmative. Was Jesus, then, mistaken? This also it is hard to believe. If there is one subject on which Jesus might be expected to have clear vision—on which we might trust His insight—it was His relation to the spiritual world with which He stood in so close rapport. Was He likely then to be mistaken when He spoke so earnestly, so profoundly, so frequently, of its hidden forces of evil? There is in itself no improbability—rather analogy suggests the highest probability—of realms of spiritual existence outside our sensible ken. That evil should enter this spiritual world, and that human life should be deeply implicated with that evil—that its forces should have a mind and will organizing and directing them—are not beliefs to be dismissed with scorn. The presence of such beliefs in the time of Christ is commonly attributed to Babylonian, Persian or other foreign influences. It may be questioned, however, whether the main cause was not something far more real—an actual and permitted "hour and the power of darkness" (Lu 22:53) in the kingdom of evil, discovering itself in manifestations in the bodies and souls of men, that could be traced only to a supernatural cause (see DEMONIAC). (The present writer discusses the subject in an article in the Sunday School Times for June 4, 1910. It would be presumptuous even to say that the instance in the Gospels have no modern parallels. See a striking paper in Good, Words, edited by Dr. Norman MacLeod, for 1867, on "The English Demoniac.") It should be noted that all diseases are not, as is sometimes affirmed, traced to demonic influence. The distinction between other diseases and demonic possession is clearly maintained (compare Mt 4:24; 10:1; 11:5, etc.). Insanity, epilepsy, blindness, dumbness, etc., were frequent accompaniments of possession, but they are not identified with it.

c) Peter’s Wife’s Mother:

(Matthew 8:14,15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38,39)

Jesus, on leaving the synagogue, entered the house of Peter. In Mark it is called "the house of Simon and Andrew" (1:29). Peter was married (compare 1Co 9:5), and apparently his mother-in-law and brother lived with him in Capernaum. It was an anxious time in the household, for the mother-in-law lay "sick of a fever"—"a great fever," as Luke the physician calls it. Taking her by the hand, Jesus rebuked the fever, which instantaneously left her. The miracle, indeed, was a double one, for not only was the fever stayed, but strength was at once restored. "She rose up and ministered unto them" (Lu 4:39).

d) The Eventful Evening:

(Matthew 8:16; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40,41)

The day’s labors were not yet done; were, indeed, scarce begun. The news of what had taken place quickly spread, and soon the extraordinary spectacle was presented of ‘the whole city’ gathered at the door of the dwelling, bringing their sick of every kind to be healed. Demoniacs were there, crying and being rebuked, but multitudes of others as well. The Lord’s compassion was unbounded. He rejected none. He labored unweariedly till every one was healed. His sympathy was individual: "He laid his hands on every one of them" (Lu 4:40).

II. From First Galilean Circuit till the Choice of the Apostles.

1. The First Circuit:

(Mark 1:35-45; Luke 4:42-44; compare Matthew 4:23-25)

The chronological order in this section is to be sought in Mark and Luke; Matthew groups for didactic purposes. The morning after that eventful Sabbath evening in Capernaum, Jesus took steps for a systematic visitation of the towns and villages of Galilee.

The task He set before Himself was prepared for by early, prolonged, solitary prayer (Mr 1:35; many instances show that Christ’s life was steeped in prayer). His disciples followed Him, and reported that the multitudes sought Him. Jesus intimated to them His intention of passing to the next towns, and forthwith commenced a tour of preaching and healing "throughout all Galilee."

a) Its Scope:

Even if the expression "all Galilee" is used with some latitude, it indicates a work of very extensive compass. It was a work likewise methodically conducted (compare Mr 6:6: "went round about the villages," literally, "in a circle"). Galilee at this time was extraordinarily populous (compare Josephus, Wars of the Jews, III, iii, 2), and the time occupied by the circuit must have been considerable. Matthew’s condensed picture (Mt 4:23-25) shows that Christ’s activity during this period was incredibly great. He stirred the province to its depths. His preaching and miracles drew enormous crowds after Him. This tide of popularity afterward turned, but much of the seed sown may have produced fruit at a later day.

b) Cure of the Leper:

(Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16)

The one incident recorded which seems to have belonged to this tour was a sufficiently typical one. While Jesus was in a certain city a man "full of leprosy" (Lu 5:12) came and threw himself down before Him, seeking to be healed. The man did not even ask Jesus to heal him, but expressed his faith, "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." The man’s apparent want of importunity was the very essence of his importunity. Jesus, moved by his earnestness, touched him, and the man was made whole on the spot. The leper was enjoined to keep silence—Jesus did not wish to pass for a mere miracle-worker—and bade the man show himself to the priests and offer the appointed sacrifices (note Christ’s respect for the legal institutions). The leper failed to keep Christ’s charge, and published his cure abroad, no doubt much to his own spiritual detriment, and also to the hindrance of Christ’s work (Mr 1:45).

2. Capernaum Incidents:

His circuit ended, Jesus returned to Capernaum (Mr 2:1; literally, "after days"). Here again His fame at once drew multitudes to see and hear Him. Among them were now persons of more unfriendly spirit. Pharisees and doctors, learning of the new rabbi, had come out of "every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem" (Lu 5:17), to hear and judge of Him for themselves. The chief incidents of this visit are the two now to be noted.

a) Cure of the Paralytic:

(Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26)

In a chamber crowded till there was no standing room, even round the door, Jesus wrought the cure upon the paralytic man. The scene was a dramatic one. From Christ’s words "son," literally, "child" (Mr 2:5), we infer that the paralytic was young, but his disablement seems to have been complete. It was no easy matter, with the doorways blocked, to get the man brought to Jesus, but his four bearers (Mr 2:3) were not easily daunted. They climbed the fiat roof, and, removing part of the covering above where Jesus was, let down the man into the midst. Jesus, pleased with the inventiveness and perseverance of their faith, responded to their wish. But, first, that the spiritual and temporal might be set in their right relations, and the attitude of His hearers be tested, He spoke the higher words: "Son, thy sins are forgiven" (Mr 2:5). At once the temper of the scribes was revealed. Here was manifest evasion. Anyone could say, "Thy sins are forgiven." Worse, it was blasphemy, for "who can forgive sins but one, even God?" (Mr 2:7). Unconsciously they were conceding to Christ the Divine dignity He claimed. Jesus perceives at once the thoughts of the cavilers, and proceeds to expose their malice. Accepting their own test, He proves His right to say, "Thy sins are forgiven," by now saying to the palsied man, "Take up thy bed and walk" (Mr 2:9,11). At once the man arose, took his bed, and went forth whole. The multitude were "amazed" and "glorified God" (Mr 2:12).

b) Call and Feast of Matthew:

(Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32)

The call of Matthew apparently took place shortly after the cure of the paralytic man. The feast was possibly later (compare the connection with the appeal of Jairus, Mt 9:18), but the call and the feast are best taken together, as they are in all the three narratives.

(1) The Call.

Matthew is called "Levi" by Luke, and "Levi, the son of Alpheus" by Mark. By occupation he was a "publican" (Lu 5:27), collector of custom-dues in Capernaum, an important center of traffic. There is no reason to suppose that Matthew was not a man of thorough uprightness, though naturally the class to which he belonged was held in great odium by the Jews. Passing the place of toll on His way to or from the lake-side, Jesus called Matthew to follow Him. The publican must by this time have seen and heard much of Jesus, and could not but keenly feel His grace in calling one whom men despised. Without an instant’s delay, he left all, and followed Jesus. From publican, Matthew became apostle, then evangelist.

(2) The Feast.

Then, or after, in the joy of his heart, Matthew made a feast for Jesus. To this feast he invited many of his own class—"publicans and sinners" (Mt 9:10). Scribes and Pharisees were loud in their remonstrances to the disciples at what seemed to them an outrage on all propriety. Narrow hearts cannot understand the breadth of grace. Christ’s reply was conclusive: "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick," etc. (Mr 2:17, etc.).

(3) Fasting and Joy.

Another line of objection was encountered from disciples of the Baptist. They, like the Pharisees, "fasted oft" (Mt 9:14), and they took exception to the unconstrained way in which Jesus and His disciples entered into social life. Jesus defends His disciples by adopting a metaphor of John’s own (Joh 3:29), and speaking of Himself as the heavenly bridegroom (Mr 2:19). Joy was natural while the bridegroom was with them; then, with a sad forecast of the end, He alludes to days of mourning when the bridegroom should be taken away (Mr 2:20). A deeper answer follows. The spirit of His gospel is a free, spontaneous, joyful spirit, and cannot be confined within the old forms. To attempt to confine His religion within the outworn forms of Judaism would be like putting a patch of undressed cloth on an old garment, or pouring new wine into old wineskins. The garment would be rent; the wineskins would burst (Mr 2:21,22 parallel). The new spirit must make forms of its own.

3. The Unnamed Jerusalem Feast:

(John 5)

At this point is probably to, be introduced the visit to Jerusalem to attend "a feast," or, according to another reading, "the feast’ of the Jews, recorded in Joh 5. The feast may, if the article is admitted, have been the Passover (April), though in that case one would expect it to be named; it may have been Purim (March), only this is not a feast Jesus might be thought eager to attend; it may even have been Pentecost (June). In this last case it would succeed the Sabbath controversies to be mentioned later. Fortunately, the determination of the actual feast has little bearing on the teaching of the chapter.

a) The Healing at Bethesda:

(John 5:1-16)

Bethesda ("house of mercy") was the name given to a pool, fed by an intermittent spring, possessing healing properties, which was situated by the sheep-gate (not "market," the King James Version), i.e. near the temple, on the East Porches were erected to accommodate the invalids who desired to make trial of the waters (the mention of the angel, Joh 5:4, with part of 5:3, is a later gloss, and is justly omitted in the Revised Version (British and American)). On one of these porches lay an impotent man. His infirmity was of long standing—38 years. Hope deferred was making his heart sick, for he had no friend, when the waters were troubled, to put him into the pool. Others invariably got down before him. Jesus took pity on this man. He asked him if he would be made whole; then by a word of power healed him. The cure was instantaneous (John 5:8,9). It was the Sabbath day, and as the man, at Christ’s command, took up his bed to go, he was challenged as doing that which was unlawful. The healed man, however, rightly perceived that He who was able to work so great a cure had authority to say what should and should not be done on the Sabbath. Meeting the man after in the temple, Jesus bade him "sin no more"—a hint, perhaps, that his previous infirmity was a result of sinful conduct (John 5:14).

b) Son and Father:

(John 5:17-29)

Jesus Himself was now challenged by the authorities for breaking the Sabbath. Their strait, artificial rules would not permit even of acts of mercy on the Sabbath. This led, on the part of Jesus, to a momentous assertion of His Divine dignity. He first justified Himself by the example of His Father, who works continually in the upholding and government of the universe (Joh 5:17)—the Sabbath is a rest from earthly labors, for Divine, heavenly labor (Westcott)—then, when this increased the offense by its suggestion of "equality" with the Father, so that His life was threatened (Joh 5:18), He spoke yet more explicitly of His unique relationship to the Father, and of the Divine prerogatives it conferred upon Him. The Jews were right: if Jesus were not a Divine Person, the claims He made would be blasphemous. Not only was He admitted to intimacy with the Divine counsel (Joh 5:20,21; compare Mt 11:27), but to Him, He averred, was committed the Divine power of giving life (Joh 5:21,26), of judgment (Joh 5:22,27), of resurrection—spiritual resurrection now (Joh 5:24,25), resurrection at the last day (Joh 5:28,29). It was the Father’s will that the Son should be honored even as Himself (Joh 5:23).

c) The Threefold Witness:

(John 5:30-47)

These stupendous claims are not made without adequate attestation. Jesus cites a threefold witness:

(1) the witness of the Baptist, whose testimony they had been willing for a time to receive (Joh 5:33,15);

(2) the witness of the Father, who by Christ’s works supported His witness to Himself (Joh 5:36-38);

(3) the witness of the Scriptures, for these, if read with spiritual discernment, would have led to Him (Joh 5:39,45-47). Moses, whom they trusted, would condemn them. Their rejection of Jesus was due, not to want of light, but to the state of the heart: "I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves" (Joh 5:42); "How can ye believe," etc. (Joh 5:44).

4. Sabbath Controversies:

Shortly after His return to Galilee, if the order of events has been rightly apprehended, Jesus became involved in new disputes with the Pharisees about Sabbath-keeping. Possibly we hear in these the echoes of the charges brought against Him at the feast in Judea. Christ’s conduct, and the principles involved in His replies, throw valuable light on the Sabbath institution.

a) Plucking of the Ears of Grain: (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5)

The first dispute was occasioned by the action of the disciples in plucking ears of grain and rubbing them in their hands as they passed through the grainfields on a Sabbath (the note of time "second-first," in Lu 6:1 the King James Version, is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American). In any case the ripened grain points to a time shortly after the Passover). The law permitted this liberty (De 23:25), but Pharisaic rigor construed it into an offense to do the act on the Sabbath (for specimens of the minute, trivial and vexatious rules by which the Pharisees converted the Sabbath into a day of wretched constraint, see Farrar’s Life of Christ, Edersheim’s Jesus the Messiah, and similar works). Jesus, in defending His disciples, first quotes Old Testament precedents (David and the showbread, an act done apparently on the Sabbath, 1Sa 21:6; the priests’ service on the Sabbath—"One greater than the temple" was there, Mt 12:6), in illustration of the truth that necessity overrides positive enactment; next, falls back on the broad principle of the design of the Sabbath as made for man—for his highest physical, mental, moral and spiritual well-being: "The sabbath was made for man," etc. (Mr 2:27). The claims of mercy are paramount. The end is not to be sacrificed to the means. The Son of Man, therefore, asserts lordship over the Sabbath (Mr 2:28 parallel).

b) The Man with the Withered Hand:

(Matthew 12:10-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11)

The second collision took place on "another sabbath" (Lu 6:6) in the synagogue. There was present a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees themselves, on this occasion, eager to entrap Jesus, seem to have provoked the conflict by a question, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" (Mt 12:10). Jesus met them by an appeal to their own practice in permitting the rescue of a sheep that had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath day (Mt 12:11,12), then, bidding the man stand forth~, retorted the question on themselves, "Is it lawful on the sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? to save a life, or to kill?" (Mr 3:4)—an allusion to their murderous intents. On no reply being made, looking on them with holy indignation, Jesus ordered the man to stretch forth his hand, and it was at once perfectly restored. The effect was only to inflame to "madness" (Lu 6:11) the minds of His adversaries, and Pharisees and Herodians (the court-party of Herod) took counsel to destroy Him (Mr 3:6 parallel).

c) Withdrawal to the Sea:

(Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 3:7-9)

Jesus, leaving this scene of unprofitable conflict, quietly withdrew with His disciples to the shore, and there continued His work of teaching and healing. People from all the neighboring districts flocked to His ministry. He taught them from a little boat (Mr 3:9), and healed their sick. Mt sees in this a fulfillment of the oracle which is to be found in Isa 42:1-4.

5. The Choosing of the Twelve:

(Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; Ac 1:13)

The work of Jesus was growing on His hands, and friends and enemies were rapidly taking sides. The time accordingly had come for selecting and attaching to His person a definite number of followers—not simply disciples—who might be prepared to carry on His work after His departure. This He did in the choice of twelve apostles. The choice was made in early morning, on the Mount of Beatitudes, after a night spent wholly in prayer (Lu 6:12).

a) The Apostolic Function:

"Apostle" means "one sent." On the special function of the apostle it is sufficient to say here that those thus set apart were chosen for the special end of being Christ’s witnesses and accredited ambassadors to the world, able from personal knowledge to bear testimony to what Christ had been, said and done—to the facts of His life, death and resurrection (compare Ac 1:22,23; 2:22-32; 3:15; 10:39; 1Co 15:3-15, etc.); but, further, as instructed by Him, and endowed with His Spirit (compare Lu 12:12; Joh 14:16,17,26, etc.), of being the depositories of His truth, sharers of His authority (compare Mt 10:1; Mr 3:15), messengers of His gospel (compare 2Co 5:18-21), and His instruments in laying broad and strong the foundations of His church (compare Eph 2:20; 3:5). So responsible a calling was never, before or after, given to mortal men.

b) The Lists:

Four lists of the apostles are given—in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Ac (1:13, omitting Judas). The names are given alike in all, except that "Judas, the son (or brother) of James" (Lu 6:16; Ac 1:13) is called by Mt Lebbaeus, "and by Mr Thaddaeus." The latter names are cognate in meaning and all denote the same person. "Bartholomew’"( son of Tolmai) is probably the Nathanael of Joh 1:47 (compare 21:2). The epithet "Cananaean" (Mt 10:4; Mr 3:18) marks "Simon" as then or previously a member of the party of the Zealots (Lu 6:15). In all the lists Peter, through his gifts of leadership, stands first; Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, stands last. There is a tendency to arrangement in pairs: Peter and Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew; lastly, James, the son of Alpheus, Judas, son or brother of James, Simonthe Zealot and Judas Iscariot. The list contains two pairs of brothers (three, if "brother" be read with Judas), and at least one pair of friends (Philip and Nathanael).

c) The Men:

All the apostles were men from the humbler ranks, yet not illiterate, and mostly comfortably circumstanced. All were Galileans, except the betrayer, whose name "Iscariot" i.e. "man of Kerioth," marks him as a Judean. Of some of the apostles we know a good deal; of others very little; yet we are warranted in speaking of them all, Judas excepted, as men of honest minds, and sincere piety. The band held within it a number of men of strongly contrasted types of character. Allusion need only be made to the impetuous Peter, the contemplative John, the matter-of-fact Philip, the cautious Thomas, the zealous Simon, the conservative Matthew, the administrative Judas. The last-named—Iscariot—is the dark problem of the apostolate. We have express testimony that Jesus knew him from the beginning (Joh 6:64). Yet He chose him. The character of Judas, when Jesus received him, was doubtless undeveloped. He could not himself suspect the dark possibilities that slept in it. His association with the apostles, in itself considered, was for his good. His peculiar gift was, for the time, of service. In choosing him, Jesus must be viewed as acting for, and under the direction of, the Father (Joh 5:19; 17:12). See special articles on the several apostles.

III. From the Sermon on the Mount till the Parables of the Kingdom—a Second Circuit.

1. The Sermon on the Mount:

The choice of the apostles inaugurates a new period of Christ’s activity. Its first most precious fruit was the delivery to the apostles and the multitudes who thronged Him as He came down from the mountain (Lu 6:17) of that great manifesto of His kingdom popularly known as the Sermon on the Mount. The hill is identified by Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 368) and others with that known as "the Horns of Hattin," where "the level place" at the top, from which Christ would come down from one of the higher horns, exactly suits the conditions of the narrative. The sick being healed, Jesus seated Himself a little higher up, His disciples near Him, and addressed the assembly (compare Mt 7:28,29). The season of the year is shown by the mention of the "lilies" to be the summer.

Its Scope.

His words were weighty. His aim was at the outset to set forth in terms that were unmistakable the principles, aims and dispositions of His kingdom; to expound its laws; to exhibit its righteousness, both positively, and in contrast with Pharisaic formalism and hypocrisy. Only the leading ideas can be indicated here (see BEATITUDES; SERMON ON THE MOUNT; ETHICS OF JESUS). Matthew, as is his wont, groups material part of which is found in other connections in Luke, but it is well to study the whole in the well-ordered form in which it appears in the First Gospel.

a) The Blessings:

(Matthew 5:1-6; Luke 6:20-26)

In marked contrast with the lawgiving of Sinai, Christ’s first words are those of blessing. Passing at once to the dispositions of the heart, He shows on what inner conditions the blessings of the kingdom depend. His beatitudes (poverty of spirit, mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst after righteousness, etc.) reverse all the world’s standards of judgment on such matters. In the possession of these graces consists true godliness of character; through them the heirs of the kingdom become the salt of the earth, the light of the world. The obligation rests on them to let their light shine (compare Mr 4:21-23; Lu 8:16; 11:33).

b) True Righteousness—the Old and the New Law:

(Matthew 5:17-48; Luke 6:27-36)

Jesus defines His relation to the old law—not a Destroyer, but a Fulfiller—and proceeds to exhibit the nature of the true righteousness in contrast to Pharisaic literality and formalism. Through adherence to the latter they killed the spirit of the law. With an absolute authority—"But I say unto you"—Jesus leads everything back from the outward letter to the state of the heart. Illustrations are taken from murder, adultery, swearing, retaliation, hatred of enemies, and a spiritual expansion is given to every precept. The sinful thought or desire holds in it the essence of transgression. The world’s standards are again reversed in the demands for nonresistance to injuries, love of enemies and requital of good for evil.

c) Religion and Hypocrisy—True and False Motive:

(Matthew 6:1-18; compare Luke 11:1-8)

Pursuing the contrast between the true righteousness and that of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus next draws attention to motive in religion. The Pharisees erred not simply in having regard only to the letter of the Law, but in acting in morals and religion from a false motive. He had furnished the antidote to their literalism; He now assails their ostentation and hypocrisy. Illustrations are taken from almsgiving, prayer and fasting, and in connection with prayer the Lord’s Prayer is given as a model (Luke introduces this in another context, Lu 11:1-4).

d) The True Good and Cure for Care:

(Matthew 6:19-34; compare Luke 11:34-36; 12:22-34)

The true motive in religious acts is to please God; the same motive should guide us in the choice of what is to be our supreme good. Earthly treasure is not to be put above heavenly. The kingdom of God and His righteousness are to be first in our desires. The eye is to be single. The true cure for worldly anxiety is then found in trust of the heavenly Father. His children are more to God than fowls and flowers, for whom His care in Nature is so conspicuously manifest. Seeking first the kingdom they have a pledge—no higher conceivable—that all else they need will be granted along with it (this section on trust, again, Luke places differently, 12:22-34).

e) Relation to the World’s Evil—the Conclusion:

(Matthew 7:1-29; Luke 6:37-49; compare 11:9-13):

Jesus finally proceeds to speak of the relation of the disciple to the evil of the world. That evil has been considered in its hostile attitude to the disciple (Mt 5:38 ); the question is now as to the disciple s free relations toward it. Jesus inculcates the duties of the disciple’s bearing himself wisely toward evil—with charity, with caution, with prayer, in the spirit of ever doing as one would be done by—and of being on his guard against it. The temptation is great to follow the worldly crowd, to be misled by false teachers, to put profession for practice. Against these perils the disciple is energetically warned. True religion will ever be known by its fruits. The discourse closes with the powerful similitude of the wise and foolish builders. Again, as on an earlier occasion, Christ’s auditors were astonished at His teaching, and at the authority with which He spoke (Mt 7:28,29).

2. Intervening Incidents: A series of remarkable incidents are next to be noticed.

a) Healing of the Centurion’s Servant:

(Matthew 8:1,5-13; Luke 7:1-10)

(1) The healing of the centurion’s servant apparently took place on the same day as the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount (Lu 7:1,2). It had been a day of manifold and exhausting labors for Jesus. A walk of perhaps 7 miles brought Him back to Capernaum, the crowds accompanying. Yet no sooner, on His return, does He hear a new appeal for help than His love Replies,"i will come and heal him." The suppliant was a Roman centurion—one who had endeared himself to the Jews (Lu 7:5)—and the request was for the healing of a favorite servant, paralyzed and tortured with pain. First, a deputation sought Christ’s good offices, then, when Jesus was on the way, a second message came, awakening even Christ’s astonishment by the magnitude of its faith. The centurion felt he was not worthy that Jesus should come under his roof, but let Jesus speak the word only, and his servant would be healed. "I have not found so great faith," Jesus said, "no, not in Israel." The word was spoken, and, on the return of the messengers, the servant was found healed.

b) The Widow of Nain’s Son Raised:

(Luke 7:11-17)

The exciting events of this day gathered so great a crowd round the house where Jesus was as left Him no leisure even to eat, and His friends, made anxious for His health, sought to restrain Him (Mr 3:20,21). It was probably to escape from this local excitement that Jesus, "soon afterwards," is found at the little town of Nain, a few miles Southeast of Nazareth. A great multitude still followed Him. Here, as He entered the city, occurred the most wonderful of the works He had yet wrought. A young man—the only son of a widowed mother—was being carried out for burial. Jesus, in compassion, stopped the mournful procession, and, in the calm certainty of His word being obeyed, bade the young man arise. On the instant life returned, and Jesus gave the son back to his mother. The amazement of the people was tenfold intensified. They felt that the old days had come back: that God had visited His people.

It was apparently during the journey or circuit which embraced this visit to Nain, and as the result of the fame it brought to Jesus (Lu 7:17,18; note the allusion to the dead being raised in Christ’s reply to John), that the embassy was sent from the Baptist in prison to ask of Jesus whether He was indeed He who should come, or would they look for another.

c) Embassy of John’s Disciples—Christ and His Generation:

(Matthew 11:2-30; Luke 7:18-35)

It was a strange question on the lips of the forerunner, but is probably to be interpreted as the expression of perplexity rather than of actual doubt. There seems no question but that John’s mind had been thrown into serious difficulty by the reports which had reached him of the work of Jesus. Things were not turning out as he expected. It was the peaceful, merciful character of Christ’s work which stumbled John. The gloom of his prison wrought with his disappointment, and led him to send this message for the satisfaction of himself and his disciples.

(1) Christ’s Answer to John.

If doubt there was, Jesus treated it tenderly. He did not answer directly, but bade the two disciples who had been sent go back and tell John the things they had seen and heard—the blind receiving their sight, the lame walking, the deaf cured, the dead raised, the Gospel preached. Little doubt the Messiah had come when works like these—the very works predicted by the prophets (Isa 35:5,6)—were being done. Blessed were those who did not find occasion of stumbling in Him. Jesus, however, did more. By his embassy John had put himself in a somewhat false position before the multitude. But Jesus would not have His faithful follower misjudged. His was no fickle spirit. Jesus nobly vindicated him as a prophet and more than a prophet; yea, a man than whom a greater had not lived. Yet, even as the new dispensation was higher than the old, one "but little" in the kingdom of heaven—one sharing Christ’s humble, loving, self-denying disposition—was greater even than John (Mt 11:11).

(2) A Perverse People—Christ’s Grace.

The implied contrast between Himself and John led Jesus further to denounce the perverse spirit of His own generation. The Pharisees and lawyers (Lu 7:30) had rejected John; they were as little pleased with Him. Their behavior was like children objecting to one game because it was merry, and to another because it was sad. The flood of outward popularity did not deceive Jesus. The cities in which His greatest works were wrought—Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum—remained impenitent at heart. The heavier would be their judgment; worse even than that on Tyre and Sidon, or on Sodom itself. Over against their unbelief Jesus reasserts His dignity and declares His grace (Mt 11:25-30). All authority was His; He alone knew and could reveal the Father (no claims in John are higher). Let the heavy laden come to Him, and He would give them rest (parts of these passages appear in another connection in Lu 10:12-21).

d) The First Anointing—the Woman Who Was a Sinner:

(Luke 7:36-50)

Yet another beautiful incident connected with this journey is preserved by Lk—the anointing of Jesus in Simon’s house by a woman who was a sinner. In Nain or some other city visited by Him, Jesus was invited to dine with a Pharisee named Simon. His reception was a cold one (Lu 7:44-46). During the meal, a woman of the city, an outcast from respectable society—one, however, as the story implies, whose heart Jesus had reached, and who, filled with sorrow, love, shame, penitence, had turned from her life of sin, entered the chamber. There, bathing Christ’s feet with her tears, wiping them with her tresses, and imprinting on them fervent kisses, she anointed them with a precious ointment she had brought with her. Simon was scandalized. Jesus could not be a right-thinking man, much less a prophet, or He would have rebuked this misbehavior from such a person. Jesus met the thought of Simon’s heart by speaking to him the parable of the Two Debtors (Lu 7:41,42). Of two men who had been freely forgiven, one 500, the other 50 shillings, which would love his creditor most? Simon gave the obvious answer, and the contrast between his own reception of Jesus and the woman’s passionate love was immediately pointed out. Her greater love was due to the greater forgiveness; though, had Simon only seen it, he perhaps needed forgiveness even more than she.

3. Second Galilean Circuit—Events at Capernaum:

(Luke 8:1-4,19-21; Matthew 12:22-50; Mark 3:22-35 compare Luke 11:14-36)

Her faith saved her and she was dismissed in peace. But again the question arose, "Who is this that even forgiveth sins?" Luke introduces here (Lu 8:1-4) a second Galilean circuit of Jesus, after the return from which a new series of exciting incidents took place at Capernaum.

a) Galilee Revisited:

(Luke 8:1-4)

The circuit was an extensive one—"went about through cities and villages (literally, "according to city and village"), preaching." During this journey Jesus was attended by the Twelve, and by devoted women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, wife of Herod’s steward, Susanna, and others), who ministered to Him of their substance (Lu 8:2,3). At the close of this circuit Jesus returned to Capernaum.

b) Cure of Demoniac—Discourse on Blasphemy:

Jesus, no doubt, wrought numerous miracles on demoniacs (compare Lu 8:1,2; out of Mary Magdalene He is said to have cast 7 demons—perhaps a form of speech to indicate the severity of the possession). The demoniac now brought to Jesus was blind and dumb. Jesus cured him, with the double result that the people were filled with amazement: "Can this be the son of David?" (Mt 12:23), while the Pharisees blasphemed, alleging that Jesus cast out demons by the help of Beelzebub (Greek, Beelzeboul), the prince of the demons (see under the word). A quite similar incident is narrated in Mt 9:32-34; and Lu gives the discourse that follows in a later connection (11:14 ff). The accusation may well have been repeated more than once. Jesus, in reply, points out, first, the absurdity of supposing Satan to be engaged in warring against his own kingdom (Mt 18:25 parallel; here was plainly a stronger than Satan); then utters the momentous word about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. All other blasphemies—even that against the Son of Man (Mt 12:32)—may be forgiven, for they may proceed from ignorance and misconception; but deliberate, perverse rejection of the light, and attributing to Satan what was manifestly of God, was a sin which, when matured—and the Pharisees came perilously near committing it—admitted of no forgiveness, either in this world or the next, for the very capacity for truth in the soul was by such sin destroyed. Mr has the strong phrase, "is guilty of an eternal sin" (3:29). Pertinent words follow as to the root of good and evil in character (Mt 12:33-37).


The Sign of Jonah.

Out of this discourse arose the usual Jewish demand for a "sign" (Mt 12:38; compare Lu 11:29-32), which Jesus met by declaring that no sign would be given but the sign of the prophet Jonah—an allusion to His future resurrection. He reiterates His warning to the people of His generation for their rejection of greater light than had been enjoyed by the Ninevites and the Queen of Sheba.

Two incidents, not dissimilar in character, interrupted this discourse—one the cry of a woman in the audience (if the time be the same, Lu 11:27,28), "Blessed is the womb that bare thee," etc., to which Jesus replied, "Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it"; the other, a message that His mother and brethren (doubtless anxious for His safety) desired to speak with Him.

c) Christ’s Mother and Brethen:

To this, stretching out His hand toward His disciples, Jesus answered, "Behold, my mother and my brethren" (Mr 3:34), etc. Kinship in the spiritual kingdom consists in fidelity to the will of God, not in ties of earthly relationship.

4. Teaching in Parables:

(Matthew 13:1-52; Mark 4:1-34; Luke 8:4-15; 13:18-21)

On the same day on which the preceding discourses were delivered, Jesus, seeing the multitudes, passed to the shore, and entering a boat, inaugurated a new method in His public. teaching. This was the speaking in parables. Similitude, metaphor, always entered into the teaching of Jesus (compare Mt 7:24-27), and parable has once been met with (Lu 7:41,42); now parable is systematically employed as a means of imparting and illustrating important truths, while yet veiling them from those whose minds were hostile and unreceptive (Mr 4:10-12; Lu 8:9,10). The parable thus at once reveals and conceals. The motive of this partially veiled teaching was the growing hostility of the Pharisees. In its nature the parable (from a verb signifying "to place side by side") is a representation in some form of earthly analogy of truths relating to Divine and eternal things (see PARABLE). The parables of the kingdom brought together in Mt 13 form an invaluable series, though not all were spoken in public (compare Mt 13:36-52), and some may belong to a later occasion (compare Lu 13:18-21). Mr adds the parable of the Seed Growing Secretly (4:26-29). Of three of the parables (the Sower, the Tares, the Dragnet), Jesus Himself gives the interpretation.

Parables of the Kingdom.

In series the parables at once mirror the origin, mixed character and development of the kingdom in its present imperfect earthly condition, and the perfection which awaits it after the crisis at the end. In the parable of the Sower is represented the origin of the kingdom in the good seed of the word, and the varied soils on which that seed falls; in the Seed Growing Secretly, the law of orderly growth in the kingdom; in the parable of the Tares, the mixed character of the subjects of the kingdom; in those of the Mustard Seed and Leaven, the progress of the kingdom—external growth, internal tramsformative effect; in those of the Treasure and Pearl the finding and worth of the kingdom; in that of the Dragnet the consummation of the kingdom. Jesus compares His disciples, if they understand these things, to householders bringing out of their treasure "things new and old" (Mt 13:52).

IV. From the Crossing to Gadara to the Mission of the Twelve—a Third Circuit.

1. Crossing of the Lake—Stilling of the Storm:

(Matthew 8:18-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25; compare 9:57-62)

It was on the evening of the day on which He spoke the parables—though the chronology of the incident seems unknown to Lu (8:22)—that Jesus bade His disciples cross over to the other side of the lake. At this juncture He was accosted by an aspirant for discipleship. Matthew gives two cases of aspirants; Luke (but in a different connection, 9:57-62), three. Luke’s connection (departure from Galilee) is perhaps preferable for the second and third; but the three may be considered together.

The three aspirants may be distinguished as,

(a) The forward disciple: he who in an atmosphere of enthusiasm offered himself under impulse, without counting the cost. The zeal of this would-be follower Jesus cheeks with the pathetic words, "The foxes have holes," etc. (Mt 8:20; Lu 9:58).

(b) The procrastinating disciple. The first candidate needed repression; the second needs impulsion.

a) Aspirants for Disciplineship:

He would follow Jesus, but first let him bury his father. There had come a crisis, however, when the Lord’s claim was paramount: "Leave the dead to bury their own dead" (Mt 8:22). There are at times higher claims than mere natural relationships, to which, in themselves, Jesus was the last to be indifferent. (c) The wavering disciple. The third disciple is again one who offers himself, but his heart was too evidently still with the things at home. Jesus, again, lays His finger on the weak spot, "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back," etc. (Lu 9:62). As mentioned, the latter two cases tally better with a final departure from Galilee than with a temporary crossing of the lake.

b) The Storm Calmed:

The inland lake was exposed to violent and sudden tempests. One of these broke on the disciples’ boat as they sailed across. Everyone’s life seemed in jeopardy. Jesus, meanwhile, in calmest repose, was asleep on a cushion in the stern (Mr 4:38). The disciples woke Him almost rudely: "Teacher, carest thou not that we perish?" Jesus at once arose, and, reproving their want of faith, rebuked wind and waves ("Peace, be still"). Immediately there was a great calm. It was a new revelation to the disciples of the majesty of their Master. "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

2. The Gadarene (Gerasene) Demoniac:

(Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39)

The lake being crossed, Jesus and His disciples came into the country of the Gadarenes (Matthew), or Gerasenes (Mark, Luke)—Gadara being the capital of the district (on the topography, compare Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, 380-81). From the lake shore rises a mountain in which are ancient tombs. Here Jesus was met by a demoniac (Matthew mentions two demoniacs: M. Henry’s quaint comment is, "If there were two, there was one." Possibly one was the fiercer of the two, the other figuring only as his companion). The man, as described, was a raving maniac of the worst type (Mr 5:3-5), dwelling in the tombs, wearing no clothes (Lu 8:27), of supernatural strength, wounding himself, shrieking, etc. Really possessed by "an unclean spirit," his consciousness was as if he were indwelt by a "legion" of demons, and from that consciousness he addressed Jesus as the Son of God come for their tormenting. In what follows it is difficult to distinguish what belongs to the broken, incoherent consciousness of the man, and the spirit or spirits who spake through him. In the question, "What is thy name?" (Mr 5:9) Jesus evidently seeks to arouse the victim’s shattered soul to some sense of its own individuality. On Jesus commanding the unclean spirit to leave the man, the request was made that the demons might be permitted to enter a herd of swine feeding near. The reason of Christ’s permission, with its result in the destruction of the herd ("rushed down the steep into the sea") need not be too closely scrutinized. It may have had an aspect of judgment on the (possibly) Jewish holders of the swine; or it may have had reference to the victim of the possession, as enabling him to realize his deliverance. Whatever the difficulties of the narrative, none of the rationalistic explanations afford any sensible relief from them. The object of the miracle may be to exclude rationalistic explanations, by giving a manifest attestation of the reality of the demon influence. When the people of the city came they found the man fully restored—"clothed and in his right mind." Yet, with fatal shortsightedness, they besought Jesus to depart from their borders. The man was sent home to declare to his friends the great things the Lord had done to him.

3. Jairus’ Daughter Raised—Woman with Issue of Blood:

(Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56)

Repelled by the Gerasenes, Jesus received a warm welcome on His return to Capernaum on the western shore (Mr 5:21). It was probably at this point that Matthew gave the feast formerly referred to.

It was in connection with this feast, Matthew himself informs us (9:18), that Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, made his appeal for help. His little daughter, about 12 years old (Lu 8:42), was at the point of death; indeed, while Jesus was coming, she died. The ruler’s faith, though real, was not equal to the centurion’s, who believed that Jesus could heal without being present.

a) Jairus’ Appeal and Its Result:

Jesus came, and having expelled the professional mourners, in sacred privacy, only the father and mother, with Peter, James and John being permitted to enter the death-chamber, raised the girl to life. It is the second miracle on record of the raising from the dead.

b) The Afflicted Woman Cured:

On the way to the ruler’s house occurred another wonder—a miracle within a miracle. A poor woman, whose case was a specially distressing one, alike as regards the nature of her malady, the length of its continuance, and the fruitlessness of her application to the physicians, crept up to Jesus, confident that if she could but touch the border of His garment, she would be healed. The woman was ignorant; her faith was blended with superstition; but Jesus, reading the heart, gave her the benefit she desired. It was His will, however, that, for her own good, the woman thus cured should not obtain the blessing by stealth. He therefore brought her to open confession, and cheered her by His commendatory word.

4. Incidents of Third Circuit:

(Matthew 9:27-38; 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6)

At this point begins apparently a new evangelistic tour (Mt 9:35; Mr 6:6), extending methodically to "all the cities and villages." To it belong in the narratives the healing of two blind men (compare the case of Bartimeus, recorded later); the cure of a demoniac who was dumb—a similar case to that in Mt 12:22; and a second rejection at Nazareth (Matthew, Mark). The incident is similar to that in Lu 4:16-30, and shows, if the events are different, that the people’s hearts were unchanged. Of this circuit Matthew gives an affecting summary (9:35-38), emphasizing the Lord’s compassion, and His yearning for more laborers to reap the abundant harvest.

5. The Twelve Sent Forth—Discourse of Jesus:

(Matthew 10; Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6; compare Luke 10:2-24; 12:2-12, etc.)

Partly with a view to the needs of the rapidly growing work and the training of the apostles, and partly as a witness to Israel (Mt 10:6,23), Jesus deemed it expedient to send the Twelve on an independent mission. The discourse in Mt attached to this event seems, as frequently, to be a compilation. Parts of it are given by Luke in connection with the mission of the Seventy (Lu 10:1 ; the directions were doubtless similar in both cases); parts on other occasions (Lu 12:2-12; 21:12-17, etc.; compare Mr 13:9-13).

The Twelve were sent out two by two. Their work was to be a copy of the Master’s—to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. To this end they were endowed with authority over unclean spirits, and over all manner of sickness. They were to go forth free from all encumbrances—no money, no scrip, no changes of raiment, no staff (save that in their hand, Mr 6:8), sandals only on their feet, etc.

a) The Commission:

They were to rely for support on those to whom they preached. They were for the present to confine their ministry to Israel. The saying in Mt 10:23, "Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come," apparently has reference to the judgment on the nation, not to the final coming (compare 16:28).

b) Counsels and Warnings:

The mission of the Twelve was the first step of Christianity as an aggressive force in society. Jesus speaks of it, accordingly, in the light of the whole future that was to come out of it. He warns His apostles faithfully of the dangers that awaited them; exhorts them to prudence and circumspection ("wise as serpents," etc.); holds out to them Divine promises for consolation; directs them when persecuted in one place to flee to another; points out to them from His own case that such persecutions were only to be expected. He assures them of a coming day of revelation; bids them at once fear and trust God; impresses on them the duty of courage in confession; inculcates in them supreme love to Himself. That love would be tested in the dearest relations, In itself peace, the gospel would be the innocent occasion of strife, enmity and division among men. Those who receive Christ’s disciples will not fail of their reward.

When Christ had ended His discourse He proceeded with His own evangelistic work, leaving the disciples to inaugurate theirs (Mt 11:1).


Second Period—After the Mission of the Twelve till the Departure from Galilee

I. From the Death of the Baptist till the Discourse on Bread of Life.

1. The Murder of the Baptist and Herod’s Alarms:

(Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9; compare 3:18-20)

Shortly before the events now to be narrated, John the Baptist had been foully murdered in his prison by Herod Antipas at the instigation of Herodias, whose unlawful marriage with Herod John had unsparingly condemned. Josephus gives as the place of the Baptist’s imprisonment the fortress of Macherus, near the Dead Sea (Ant., XVIII, v, 2); or John may have been removed to Galilee. Herod would ere this have killed John, but was restrained by fear of the people (Mt 14:5). The hate of Herodias, however, did not slumber. Her relentless will contrasts with the vacillation of Herod, as Lady Macbeth in Shakspeare contrasts with Macbeth. A birthday feast gave her the opening she sought for. Her daughter Saleme, pleasing Herod by her dancing, obtained from him a promise on oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by Herodias, she boldly demanded John the Baptist’s head. The weak king was shocked, but, for his oath’s sake, granted her what she craved. The story tells how the Baptist’s disciples reverently buried the remains of their master, and went and told Jesus. Herod’s conscience did not let him rest. When rumors reached him of a wonderful teacher and miracle-worker in Galilee, he leaped at once to the conclusion that it was John risen from the dead. Herod cannot have heard much of Jesus before. An evil conscience makes men cowards.

Another Passover drew near (Joh 6:4), but Jesus did not on this occasion go up to the feast.

Returning from their mission, the apostles reported to Jesus what they had said and done (Lu 9:10); Jesus had also heard of the Baptist’s fate, and of Herod’s fears, and now proposed to His disciples a retirement to a desert place across the lake, near Bethsaida (on the topography, compare Stanley, op. cit., 375, 381).

2. The Feeding of the Five Thousand:

(Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14)

As it proved, however, the multitudes had observed their departure, and, running round the shore, were at the place before them (Mr 6:33). The purpose of rest was frustrated, but Jesus did not complain. He pitied the shepherdless state of the people, and went out to teach and heal them. The day wore on, and the disciples suggested that the fasting multitude should disperse, and seek victuals in the nearest towns and villages. This Jesus, who had already proved Philip by asking how the people should be fed (Joh 6:5), would not permit. With the scanty provision at command—5 loaves and 2 fishes—He fed the whole multitude. By His blessing the food was multiplied till all were satisfied, and 12 baskets of fragments, carefully collected, remained over. It was astupendous act of creative power, no rationalizing of which can reduce it to natural dimensions.

3. Walking on the Sea:

(Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:15-21)

The enthusiasm created by this miracle was intense (Joh 6:14). Matthew and Mark relate (Luke here falls for a time out of the Synopsis) that Jesus hurriedly constrained His disciples to enter into their boat and recross the lake—this though a storm was gathering—while He Himself remained in the mountain alone in prayer. John gives the key to this action in the statement that the people were about to take Him by force and make Him a king (6:15). Three hours after midnight found the disciples still in the midst of the lake, "distressed in rowing" (Mr 6:48), deeply anxious because Jesus was not, as on a former occasion, with them. At last, at the darkest hour of their extremity, Jesus was seen approaching in a way unlooked-for—walking on the water. Every new experience of Jesus was a surprise to the disciples. They were at first terrified, thinking they saw a spirit, but straightway the well-known voice was heard, "Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." In the rebound of his feelings the impulsive Peter asked Jesus to permit him to come to Him on the water (Matthew). Jesus said "Come," and for the first moment or two Peter did walk on the water; then, as he realized his unwonted situation, his faith failed, and he began to sink. Jesus, with gentle chiding, caught him, and assisted him back into the boat. Once again the sea was calmed, and the disciples watch found themselves safely at land. To their adoring minds the miracle of the loaves was eclipsed by this new marvel (Mr 6:52).

4. Gennesaret—Discourse on the Bread of Life:

(Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56; John 6:22-71)

On the return to Gennesaret the sick from all quarters were brought to Jesus—the commencement apparently of a new, more general ministry of healing (Mr 6:56). Meanwhile—here we depend on John—the people on the other side of the lake, when they found that Jesus was gone, took boats hastily, and came over to Capernaum. They found Jesus apparently in the synagogue (6:59). In reply to their query, "Rabbi, when camest thou hither?" Jesus first rebuked the motive which led them to follow Him—not because they had seen in His miracles "signs" of higher blessings, but because they had eaten of the loaves and were filled (6:26)—then spoke to them His great discourse on the bread from heaven. "Work," He said, "for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you" (6:27). When asked to authenticate His claims by a sign from heaven like the manna, He replied that the manna also (given not by Moses but by God) was but typical bread, and surprised them by declaring that He Himself was the true bread of life from heaven (6:35,51). The bread was Christ’s flesh, given for the life of the world; His flesh and blood must be eaten and drunk (a spiritual appropriation through faith, 6:63), if men were to have eternal life. Jesus of set purpose had put His doctrine in a strong, testing manner. The time had come when His hearers must make their choice between a spiritual acceptance of Him and a break with Him altogether. What He had said strongly offended them, both on account of the claims implied (6:42), and on account of the doctrine taught, which, they were plainly told, they could not receive because of their carnality of heart (6:43,44,61-64). Many, therefore, went back and walked no more with Him (6:60,61,66); but their defection only evoked from the chosen Twelve a yet more confident confession of their faith. "Would ye also go away?"

Peter’s First Confession.

Peter, as usual, spoke for the rest: "Lord, to whom shall we go? .... We have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God" (Joh 6:69). Here, and not first at Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:16), is Peter’s brave confession of his Master’s Messiahship. Twelve thus confessed Him, but even of this select circle Jesus was compelled to say, "One of you (Judas) is a devil" (Joh 6:70,71).

II. From Disputes with the Pharisees till the Transfiguration.

The discourse in Capernaum seems to mark a turning-point in the Lord’s ministry in Galilee. Soon after we find Him ceasing from public teaching, and devoting Himself to the instruction of His apostles (Mt 15:21; Mr 7:24, etc.).

1. Jesus and Tradition—Outward and Inward Purity:

(Matthew 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23)

Meanwhile, that Christ’s work in Galilee was attracting the attention of the central authorities, is shown by the fact that scribes and Pharisees came up from Jerusalem to watch Him. They speedily found ground of complaint against Him in His unconventional ways and His total disregard of the traditions of the elders. They specially blamed Him for allowing His disciples to eat bread with "common," i.e. unwashen hands. Here was a point on which the Pharisees laid great stress (Mr 7:3,4). Ceremonial ablutions (washing "diligently," Greek "with the fist"; "baptizings" of person and things) formed a large part of their religion. These washings were part of the "oral tradition" said to have been delivered to Moses, and transmitted by a succession of elders. Jesus set all this ceremonialism aside. It was part of the "hypocrisy" of the Pharisees (Mr 7:6). When questioned regarding it, He drew a sharp distinction between God’s commandment in the Scriptures and man’s tradition, and accused the Pharisees (instancing "Corban" (which see), in support, Mr 7:10-12) of making "void" the former through the latter. This led to the wider question of wherein real defilement consisted. Christ’s rational position here is that it did not consist in anything outward, as in meats, but consisted in what came from within the man: as Jesus explained afterward, in the outcome of his heart or moral life: "Out of the heart of men evil thoughts proceed," etc. (Mr 7:20-23). Christ’s saying was in effect the abrogation of the old ceremonial distinctions, as Mark notes: "making all meats clean" (Mr 7:19). The Pharisees, naturally, were deeply offended at His sayings, but Jesus was unmoved. Every plant not of the Father’s planting must be rooted up (Mr 7:13).

2. Retirement to Tyre and Sidon—the Syrophoenician Woman:

(Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30)

From this point Jesus appears, in order to escape notice, to have made journeys privately from place to place. His first retreat was to the borders, or neighborhood, of Tyre and Sidon. From Mr 7:31 it is to be inferred that He entered the heathen territory. He could not, however, be hid (Mr 7:24). It was not long ere, in the house into which He had entered, there reached Him the cry of human distress. A woman came to Him, a Greek (or Gentile, Greek-speaking), but Syrophoenician by race. Her "little daughter" was grievously afflicted with an evil spirit. Flinging herself at His feet, and addressing Him as "Son of David," she besought His mercy for her child. At first Jesus seemed—yet only seemed—to repel her, speaking of Himself as sent only to the lost sheep of Israel, and of the unmeetness of giving the children’s loaf to the dogs (the Greek softens the expression, "the little dogs"). With a beautiful urgency which won for her the boon she sought, the woman seized on the word as an argument in her favor. "Even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs." The child at Jesus’ word was restored.

3. At Decapolis—New Miracles:

(Matthew 15:29-39; Mark 7:31-37; 8:1-10)

Christ’s second retreat was to Decapolis—the district of the ten cities—East of the Jordan. Here also He was soon discovered, and followed by the multitude. Sufferers were brought to Him, whom He cured (Mt 15:30). Later, He fed the crowds.

The miracle of the deaf man is attested only by Mk. The patient was doubly afflicted, being deaf, and having an impediment in his speech. The cure presents several peculiarities—its privacy (Mt 15:33); the actions of Jesus in putting his fingers into his ears, etc. (a mode of speech by signs to the deaf man); His "sign," accompanied with prayer, doubtless accasioned by something in the man’s look; the word Ephphatha (Mt 15:34)—"Be opened."

a) The Deaf Man:

(Mark 7:32-37)

The charge to those present not to blazon the deed abroad was disregarded. Jesus desired no cheap popularity.

b) Feeding of Four Thousand:

(Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9)

The next miracle closely resembles the feeding of the Five Thousand at Bethsaida, but the place and numbers are different; 4,000 instead of 5,000; 7 loaves and a few fishes, instead of 5 loaves and 2 fishes; 7 baskets of fragments instead of 12 (Mark’s term denotes a larger basket). There is no reason for doubting the distinction of the incidents (compare Mt 16:9,10; Mr 8:19,20).

4. Leaven of the Pharisees, etc.—Cure of Blind Man:

(Matthew 16:1-12; Mark 8:11-26)

Returning to the plain of Gennesaret (Magdala, Mt 15:39 the King James Version; parts of Dalmanutha, Mr 8:10), Jesus soon found Himself assailed by His old adversaries. Pharisees and Sadducees were now united. They came "trying" Jesus, and asking from Him a "sign from heaven"—some signal Divine manifestation. "Sighing deeply" (Mark) at their caviling spirit, Jesus repeated His word about the sign of Jonah. The times in which they lived were full of signs, if they, so proficient in weather signs, could only see them. To be rid of such questioners, Jesus anew took boat to Bethsaida. On the way He warned His disciples against the leaven of the spirit they had just encountered. The disciples misunderstood, thinking that Jesus referred to their forgetfulness in not taking bread (Mark states in his graphic way that they had only one loaf). The leaven Christ referred to, in fact, represented three spirits:

(1) the Pharisaic leaven—formalism and hypocrisy;

(2) the Sadducean leaven—rationalistic skepticism;

(3) the Herodian leaven (Mr 8:15)—political expediency and temporizing.

Arrived at Bethsaida, a miracle was wrought on a blind man resembling in some of its features the cure of the deaf man at Decapolis. In both cases Jesus took the patients apart; in both physical means were used—the spittle ("spit on his eyes," Mr 8:23); in both there was strict injunction not to noise the cure abroad. Another peculiarity was the gradualness of the cure. It is probable that the man had not been blind from his birth, else he could hardly have recognized men or trees at the first opening. It needed that Jesus should lay His hands on Him before he saw all things clearly.

5. At Caesarea Philippi—The Great Confession—First Announcement of Passion:

(Matthew 16:13-28; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-27)

The next retirement of Jesus with His disciples was to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, near the source of the Jordan. This was the northernmost point of His journeyings. Here, "on the geographical frontier between Judaism and heathenism" (Liddon), our Lord put the momentous question which called forth Peter’s historical confession.

(1) The Voices of the Age and the External Truth.

The question put to the Twelve in this remote region was: "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" "Son of man," as already said, was the familiar name given by Jesus to Himself, to which a Messianic significance might or might not be attached, according to the prepossessions of His hearers. First the changeful voices of the age were recited to Jesus: "Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah," etc. Next, in answer to the further question: "But who say ye that I am ?" there rang out from Peter, in the name of all, the unchanging truth about Jesus: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." In clearness, boldness, decision, Peter’s faith had attained a height not reached before. The confession embodies two truths:

(1) the Divinity,

(2) the Messiahship, of the Son of man.

Jesus did honor to the confession of His apostle. Not flesh and blood, but the Father, had revealed the truth to him. Here at length was "rock" on which He could build a church. Reverting to Peter’s original name, Simon Bar-Jonah, Jesus declared, with a play on the name "Peter" (petros, "rock," "piece of rock") He had before given him (Joh 1:42), that on this "rock" (petra), He would build His church, and the gates of Hades (hostile evil powers) would not prevail against it (Mt 16:18). The papacy has reared an unwarrantable structure of pretensions on this passage in supposing the "rock" to be Peter personally and his successors in the see of Rome (none such existed; Peter was not bishop of Rome). It is not Peter the individual, but Peter the confessing apostle—Peter as representative of all—that Christ names "rock"; that which constituted him a foundation was the truth he had confessed (compare Eph 2:20). This is the first New Testament mention of a "church" (ekklesia). The Christian church, therefore, is founded

(1) on the truth of Christ’s Divine Sonship;

(2) on the truth of His Messiah-ship, or of His being the anointed prophet, priest and king of the new age.

A society of believers confessing these truths is a church; no society which denies these truths deserves the name. To this confessing community Jesus, still addressing Peter as representing the apostolate (compare Mt 18:18), gives authority to bind and loose—to admit and to exclude. Jesus, it is noted, bade His disciples tell no man of these things (Mt 16:20; Mr 8:30; Lu 9:21).

(2) The Cross and the Disciple.

The confession of Peter prepared the way for an advance in Christ’s teaching. From that time, Matthew notes, Jesus began to speak plainly of His approaching sufferings and death (16:21). There are in all three solemn announcements of the Passion (Mt 16:21-23; 17:22,23; 20:17-19 parallel). Jesus foresaw, and clearly foretold, what would befall Him at Jerusalem. He would be killed by the authorities, but on the third day would rise again. On the first announcement, following His confession, Peter took it upon him to expostulate with Jesus: "Be it far from thee, Lord," etc. (Mt 16:22), an action which brought upon him the stern rebuke of Jesus: "Get thee behind me, Satan," etc. (Mt 16:23). The Rock-man, in his fall to the maxims of a worldly expediency, is now identified with Satan, the tempter. This principle, that duty is only to be done when personal risk is not entailed, Jesus not only repudiates for Himself, but bids His disciples repudiate it also. The disciple, Jesus says, must be prepared to deny himself, and take up his cross. The cross is the symbol of anything distressing or painful to bear. There is a saving of life which is a losing of it, and what shall a man be profited if he gain the whole world, and forfeit his (true, higher) life? As, however, Jesus had spoken, not only of dying, but of rising again, so now He encourages His disciples by announcing His future coming in glory to render to every man according to His deeds. That final coming might be distant (compare Mt 24:36); but (so it seems most natural to interpret the saying Mt 16:28 parallel) there were those living who would see the nearer pledge of that, in Christ’s coming in the triumphs and successes of His kingdom (compare Mr 9:1; Lu 9:27; Mt 26:64).

6. The Transfiguration—the Epileptic Boy:

(Matthew 17:1-20; Mark 9:2-29; Luke 9:28-43)

About eight days after the announcement of His passion by Jesus, took place the glorious event of the transfiguration. Jesus had spoken of His future glory, and here was pledge of it. In strange contrast with the scene of glory on the summit of the mountain was the painful sight which met Jesus and His three companions when they descended again to to the plain.

a) The Glory of the Only Begotten:

Tradition connects the scene of the transfiguration with Mount Tabor, but it more probably took place on one of the spurs of Mount Hermon. Jesus had ascended the mountain with Peter, James and John, for prayer. It was while He was praying the wonderful change happened. For once the veiled glory of the only begotten from the Father (Joh 1:14) was permitted to burst forth, suffusing His person and garments, and changing them into a dazzling brightness. His face did shine as the sun; His raiment became white as light ("as snow," the King James Version, Mark). Heavenly visitants, recognized from their converse as Moses and Elijah, appeared with Him and spoke of His decease (Luke). A voice from an enveloping cloud attested: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Little wonder the disciples were afraid, or that Peter in his confusion should stammer out: "It is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, I will make here three tabernacles (booths)." This, however, was not permitted. Earth is not heaven. Glimpses of heavenly glory are given, not to wean from duty on earth, but to prepare for the trials connected therewith.

b) Faith’s Entreaty and Its Answer:

The spectacle that met the eyes of Jesus and the chosen three as they descended was distressing in the extreme. A man had brought his epileptic boy—a sore sufferer and dumb—to the disciples to see if they could cast out the evil spirit that possessed him, but they were not able. Their failure, as Jesus showed, was failure of faith; none the less did their discomfiture afford a handle to the gainsayers, who were not slow to take advantage of it (Mr 9:14). The man’s appeal was now to Jesus, "If thou canst do anything," etc. (Mr 9:22). The reply of Jesus shifted the "canst" to the right quarter, "If thou canst (believe)" (Mr 9: 23). Such little faith as the man had revived under Christ’s word: "I believe; help thou mine unbelief." The multitude pressing around, there was no call for further delay. With one energetic word Jesus expelled the unclean spirit (Mr 9:25). The first effect of Christ’s approach had been to induce a violent paroxysm (Mr 9:20); now the spirit terribly convulsed the frame it was compelled to relinquish. Jesus, taking the boy’s hand, raised him up, and he was found well. The lesson drawn to the disciples was the omnipotence of faith (Mt 17:19,20) and power of prayer (Mr 9:28,29).

III. From Private Journey through Galilee till Return from the Feast of Tabernacles.

1. Galilee and Capernaum:

Soon after the last-mentioned events Jesus passed privately through Galilee (Mr 9:30), returning later to Capernaum. During the Galilean journey Jesus made to His disciples His 2nd announcement of His approaching sufferings and death, accompanied as before by the assurance of His resurrection. The disciples still could not take in the meaning of His words, though what He said made them "exceeding sorry" (Mt 17:23).

a) Second Announcement of Passion:

(Matthew 17:22,23; Mark 9:30-33; Luke 9:44,45)

The return to Capernaum was marked by an incident which raised the question of Christ’s relation to temple institutions. The collectors of tribute for the temple inquired of Peter: "Doth not your teacher pay the half-shekel?" (Greek didrachma, or double drachm, worth about 32 cents or is. 4d.).

b) The Temple Tax:

(Matthew 17:24-27)

The origin of this tax was in the half-shekel of atonement-money of Ex 30:11-16, which, though a special contribution, was made the basis of later assessment (2Ch 24:4-10; in Nehemiah’s time the amount was one-third of a shekel, Ne 10:32), and its object was the upkeep of the temple worship (Schurer). The usual time of payment was March, but Jesus had probably been absent and the inquiry was not made for some months later. Peter, hasty as usual, probably reasoning from Christ’s ordinary respect for temple ordinances, answered at once that He did pay the tax. It had not occurred to him that Jesus might have something to say on it, if formally challenged. Occasion therefore was taken by Jesus gently to reprove Peter. Peter had but recently acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God. Do kings of the earth take tribute of their own sons? The half-shekel was suitable to the subject-relation, but not to the relation of a son. Nevertheless, lest occasion of stumbling be given, Jesus could well waive this right, as, in His humbled condition, He had waived so many more. Peter was ordered to cast his hook into the sea, and Jesus foretold that the fish he would bring up would have in its mouth the necessary coin (Greek, stater, about 64 cents or 2s. 8d.). The tax was paid, yet in such a way as to show that the payment of it was an act of condescension of the king’s Son.

c) Discourse on Greatness and Forgiveness:

(Matthew 18:1-35; Mark 9:33-50; Luke 9:46-50)

On the way to Capernaum a dispute had arisen among the disciples as to who should be greatest in the Messianic kingdom about to be set up. The fact of such disputing showed how largely even their minds were yet dominated by worldly, sensuous ideas of the kingdom. Now, in the house (Mr 9:33), Jesus takes occasion to check their spirit of ambitious rivalry, and to inculcate much-needed lessons on greatness and kindred matters.

(1) Greatness in Humility.

First, by the example of a little child, Jesus teaches that humility is the root-disposition of His kingdom. It alone admits to the kingdom, and conducts to honor in it. He is greatest who humbles himself most (Mt 18:4), and is the servant of all (Mr 9:35). He warns against slighting the "little ones," or causing them to stumble, and uses language of terrible severity against those guilty of this sin.

(2) Tolerance.

The mention of receiving little ones in Christ’s name led John to remark that he had seen one casting out demons in Christ’s name, and had forbidden him, because he was not of their company. "Forbid him not," Jesus said, "for there is no man who shall do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us" (Mr 9:39,40).

(3) The Erring Brother.

The subject of offenses leads to the question of sins committed by one Christian brother against another. Here Christ inculcates kindness and forbearance; only if private representations and the good offices of brethren fail, is the matter to be brought before the church; if the brother repents he is to be unstintedly forgiven ("seventy times seven," Mt 18:22). If the church is compelled to interpose, its decisions are valid (under condition, however, of prayer and Christ’s presence, Mt 18:18-20).

(4) Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.

To enforce the lesson of forgiveness Jesus speaks the parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Mt 18:23-35). Himself forgiven much, this servant refuses to forgive his fellow a much smaller debt. His lord visits him with severest punishment. Only as we forgive others can we look for forgiveness.

2. The Feast of Tabernacles—Discourses, etc.:

(John 7-10:21)

The Gospel of John leaves a blank of many months between chapters 6 and 7, covered only by the statement, "After these things, Jesus walked in Galilee" (7:1). In this year of His ministry Jesus had gone neither to the feast of the Passover nor to Pentecost. The Feast of Tabernacles was now at hand (October). To this Jesus went up, and Joh preserves for us a full record of His appearance, discourses and doings there.

a) The Private Journey—Divided Opinions:

(John 7:1-10)

The brethren of Jesus, still unpersuaded of His claims (Joh 7:5), had urged Jesus to go up with them to the feast. "Go up," in their sense, included a public manifestation of Himself as the Messiah. Jesus replied that His time for this had not yet come. Afterward He went up quietly, and in the midst of the feast appeared in the temple as a teacher. The comments made about Jesus at the feast before His arrival vividly reflect the divided state of opinion regarding Him. "He is a good man," thought some. "Not so," said others, "but He leadeth the multitude astray." His teaching evoked yet keener division. While some said, "Thou hast a demon" (Joh 7:20), others argued, "When the Christ shall come, will he do more signs?" etc. (Joh 7:31). Some declared, "This is of a truth the prophet," or "This is the Christ"; others objected that the Christ was to come out of Bethlehem, not Galilee (Joh 7:40-42). Yet no one dared to take the step of molesting Him.

b) Christ’s Self-Witness:

(John 7:14-52)

Christ’s wisdom and use of the Scriptures excited surprise. Jesus met this surprise by stating that His knowledge was from the Father, and with reference to the division of opinion about Him laid down the principle that knowledge of the truth was the result of the obedient will: "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God" (Joh 7:17). It was objected that they knew who Jesus was, and whence He came. In a sense, Jesus replied, this was true; in a deeper sense, it was not. He came from the Father, whom they knew not (Joh 7:28,29). The last and great day of the feast—the eighth (Nu 29:35)—brought with it a new self-attestation. Jesus stood and cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me .... from within him shall flow rivers of living water" (Joh 7:37,38). The words are understood to have reference to the ceremony of pouring out a libation of water at this feast—the libation, in turn, commemorating the gift of water at the striking of the rock. The evangelist interprets the saying of the Spirit which believers should receive. Meanwhile, the chief priests and Pharisees had sent officers to apprehend Jesus (Joh 7:32), but they returned without Him. "Why did ye not bring him?" The reply was confounding, "Never man so spake" (Joh 7:45,46). The retort was the poor one, "Are ye also led astray?" In vain did Nicodemus, who was present, try to put in a moderating word (Joh 7:50,51). It was clear to what issue hate like this was tending.

c) The Woman Taken in Adultery:

(John 8)

The discourses at the feast are at this point interrupted by the episode of the woman taken in adultery (Joh 8:1-11), which, by general consent, does not belong to the original text of the Gospel. It is probably, however, an authentic incident, and illustrates, on the one hand, the eagerness of the official classes to find an accusation against Jesus, and, on the other, the Saviour’s dignity and wisdom in foiling such attempts, His spirit of mercy and the action of conscience in the accusers. In His continued teaching, Jesus put forth even higher claims than in the foregoing discourse. As He had applied to Himself the water from the rock, so now He applied to Himself the symbolic meaning of the two great candelabra, which were lighted in the temple court during the feast and bore reference to the pillar of cloud and fire. "I am the light of the world," said Jesus (Joh 8:12). Only a Divine being could put forth such a claim as that. The Jews objected that they had only His witness to Himself. Jesus replied that no other could bear adequate witness of Him, for He alone knew whence He came and whither He went (Joh 8:14). But the Father also had borne witness of Him (Joh 8:18). This discourse, delivered in the "treasury" of the temple (Joh 8:20), was soon followed by another, no man yet daring to touch Him. This time Jesus warns the Jews of the fate their unbelief would entail upon them: "Ye shall die in your sins" (Joh 8:24). Addressing Himself next specially to the Jews who believed in Him, He urged them to continuance in His word as the condition of true freedom. Resentment was again aroused at the suggestion that the Jews, Abraham’s seed, were not free. Jesus made clear that the real bondage was that of sin; only the Son could make spiritually free (Joh 8:34-36). Descent from Abraham meant nothing, if the spirit was of the devil (Joh 8:39-41). A new conflict was provoked by the saying, "If a man keep my word, he shall never see death" (Joh 8:51). Did Jesus make Himself greater than Abraham? The controversy that ensued resulted in the sublime utterance, "Before Abraham was born, I am" (Joh 8:58). The Jews would have stoned Him, but Jesus eluded them, and departed.

d) The Cure of the Blind Man:

(John 9)

The Feast of Tabernacles was past, but Jesus was still in Jerusalem. Passing by on a Sabbath (Joh 9:14), He saw a blind man, a beggar (John 9:8), well known to have been blind from his birth. The narrative of the cure and examination of this blind man is adduced by Paley as bearing in its inimitable circumstantiality every mark of personal knowledge on the part of the historian. The man, cured in strange but symbolic fashion by the anointing of his eyes with clay (thereby apparently sealing them more firmly), then washing in the Pool of Siloam, became an object of immediate interest, and every effort was made by the Pharisees to shake his testimony as to the miracle that had been wrought. The man, however, held to his story, and his parents could only corroborate the fact that their son had been born blind, and now saw. The Pharisees themselves were divided, some reasoning that Jesus could not be of God because He had broken the Sabbath—the old charge; others, Nicodemus-like, standing on the fact that a man who was a sinner could not do such signs (Joh 9:15,16). The healed man applied the logic of common-sense: "If this man were not from God, he could do nothing" (Joh 9:33). The Pharisees, impotent to deny the wonder, could only cast him out of the synagogue. Jesus found him, and brought him to full confession of faith in Himself (Joh 9:35-38).

e) The Good Shepherd:

(John 10:1-21)

Yet another address of Jesus is on record arising out of this incident. In continuation of His reply to the question of the Pharisees in John (9:40), "Are we also blind?" Jesus spoke to them His discourse on the Good Shepherd. Flocks in eastern countries are gathered at night into an enclosure surrounded by a wall or palisade. This is the "fold," which is under the care of a "porter," who opens the closely barred door to the shepherds in the morning. As contrasted with the legitimate shepherds, the false shepherds "enter not by the door," but climb over some other way. The allusion is to priests, scribes, Pharisees and generally to all, in any age, who claim an authority within the church unsanctioned by God (Godet). Jesus now gathers up the truth in its relation to Himself as the Supreme Shepherd. From His fundamental relation to the church, He is not only the Shepherd, but the Door (10:7-14). To those who enter by Him there is given security, liberty, provision (10:9). In his capacity as Shepherd Christ is preeminently all that a faithful shepherd ought to be. The highest proof of His love is that, as the Good Shepherd, He lays down His life for the sheep (10:11,15,17). This laying down of His life is not an accident, but is His free, voluntary act (10:17,18). Again there was division among the Jews because of these remarkable sayings (10:19-21).

Chronological Note.

Though John does not mention the fact, there is little doubt that, after this visit to Jerusalem, Jesus returned to Galilee, and at no long interval from His return, took His final departure southward. The chronology of this closing period in Galilee is somewhat uncertain. Some would place the visit to the Feast of Tabernacles before the withdrawal to Caesarea Philippi, or even earlier (compare Andrews, Life of our Lord, etc.); but the order adopted above appears preferable.



Departure from Galilee:

An interval of two months elapses between John 10:21 and 22—from the Feast of Tabernacles (October) till the Feast of the Dedication (December). This period witnessed the final withdrawal of Jesus from Galilee. Probably while yet in Galilee He sent forth the seventy disciples to prepare His way in the cities to which He should come (Lu 10:1). Repulsed on the borders of Samaria (Lu 9:51-53), He passed over into Peraea ("beyond Jordan"), where he exercised a considerable ministry. The record of this period, till the entry into Jerusalem, belongs in great part to Luke, who seems to have had a rich special source relating to it (9:51-19:27). The discourses in Luke embrace many passages and sections found in other connections in Matthew, and it is difficult, often, to determine their proper chronological place, if, as doubtless sometimes happened, portions were not repeated.

I. From Leaving Galilee till the Feast of the Dedication.

1. Rejected by Samaria:

(Luke 9:51-55)

Conscious that He went to suffer and die, Jesus steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. His route was first by Samaria—an opportunity of grace to that people—but here, at a border village, the messengers He sent before Him, probably also He Himself on His arrival, were repulsed, because of His obvious intention to go to Jerusalem (Lu 9:53). James and John wished to imitate Elijah in calling down fire from heaven on the rejecters, but Jesus rebuked them for their thought (the Revised Version (British and American) omits the reference to Elijah, and subsequent clauses, Lu 9:55,56).

2. Mission of the Seventy:

(Luke 10:1-20)

In the present connection Luke inserts the incidents of the three aspirants formerly considered (9:57-62; compare p. 1645). It was suggested that the second and third cases may belong to this period.

A new and significant step was now taken by Jesus in the sending out of 70 disciples, who should go before Him, two by two, to announce His coming in the cities and villages He was about to visit. The number sent indicates how large a following Jesus had now acquired. (Some see a symbolical meaning in the number 70, but it is difficult to show what it is.) The directions given to the messengers are similar to those formerly given to the Twelve (Lu 9:1-5; compare Mt 10); a passage also found in Matthew in a different connection (11:21-24) is incorporated in this discourse, or had originally its place in it (11:13-15). In this mission Jesus no longer made any secret of His Messianic character. The messengers were to proclaim that the kingdom of God was come nigh to them in connection with His impending visit (Lu 10:9). The mission implies that a definite route was marked out by Jesus for Himself (compare Lu 13:22), but this would be subject to modification according to the reception of His emissaries (Lu 10:10,11,16). The circuit need not have occupied a long time with so many engaged in it. The results show that it aroused strong interest. Later the disciples returned elated with their success, emphasizing their victory over the demons (Lu 10:17). Jesus bade them rejoice rather that their names were written in heaven (Lu 10:20). Again a passage is inserted (Lu 10:21,22) found earlier in Mt 11:25-27; compare also Lu 10:23,24, with Mt 13:16,17.

3. The Lawyer’s Question—Parable of Good Samaritan:

(Luke 10:25-37)

Jesus had now passed "beyond the Jordan," i.e. into Peraea, and vast crowds waited on His teaching (compare Mt 19:1 f; Mr 10:1; Lu 12:1). At one place a lawyer put what he meant to be a testing question, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus referred him to the great commandments of love to God and one’s neighbor, eliciting the further query, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus spoke to him the immortal parable of the Good Samaritan, and asked who proved neighbor to him who fell among the robbers. The lawyer could give but one answer, "He that showed mercy on him." "Go," said Jesus, "and do thou likewise."

The incident of Martha and Mary, which Luke inserts here (Lu 10:38-42), comes in better later, when Jesus was nearer Bethany.

4. Discourses, Parables, and Miracles:

(Luke 11-14)

At this place Luke brings together a variety of discourses, warnings and exhortations, great parts of which have already been noticed in earlier contexts. It does not follow that Luke has not, in many cases, preserved the original connection. This is probably the case with the Lord’s Prayer (Lu 11:1-4), and with portions of what Matthew includes in the Sermon on the Mount (e.g. 11:9-13,13-36; 12:22-34; compare Lu 13:24-27 with Mt 7:13,14,22,23), and in other discourses (e.g. Lu 11:42-52 = Mt 23:23-36; Lu 12:2-12 = Mt 10:26-33; Lu 12:42-48 = Mt 24:45-51; Lu 13:18-21, parables of Mustard Seed and Leaven = Mt 13:31,32, etc.).

a) Original to Luke:

Of matter original to Luke in these chapters may be noted such passages as that on the Friend at Midnight (11:5-8), the incident of the man who wished Jesus to bid his brother divide his inheritance with him, to whom Jesus spoke the parable of the Rich Fool (12:13-21), the parable of the Barren Fig Tree, called forth by the disposition to regard certain Galileans whom Pilate had slain in a tumult at the temple, and eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam had fallen, as sinners above others (13:1-9: "Nay," said Jesus, "but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"), and most of the teaching in Luke 14, referred to below. In 11:37,38, we have the mention of a Pharisee inviting Jesus to dine, and of his astonishment at the Lord’s neglect of the customary ablutions before eating. Luke 11:53 gives a glimpse of the fury to which the scribes and Pharisees were aroused by the severity of Christ’s denunciations. They "began to press upon him vehemently .... laying wait for him, to catch something out of his mouth." In 13:31 ff it is told how the Pharisees sought to frighten Jesus from the district by telling Him that Herod would fain kill Him. Jesus bade them tell that "fox" that His work would go on uninterruptedly in the brief space that remained ("day" used enigmatically) till He was "perfected" (13:32). The woe on Jerusalem (13:34,35) is given by Matthew in the discourse in chapter 23.

b) The Infirm Woman—the Dropsied Man:

Of the miracles in this section, the casting out of the demon that was mute (Lu 11:14 ) is evidently the same incident as that already noted in Mt 12:22 ff. Two other miracles are connected with the old accusation of Sabbath breaking. One was the healing in a synagogue on the Sabbath day of a woman bowed down for 18 years with "a spirit of infirmity" (Lu 13:10-17); the other was the cure on the Sabbath of a man afflicted with dropsy at a feast in the house of a ruler of the Pharisees to which Jesus had been invited (Lu 14:1-6). The motive of the Pharisee’s invitation, as in most such cases, was hostile (Lu 14:1). In both instances Jesus met the objection in the same way, by appealing to their own acts of humanity to their animals on the Sabbath (Lu 13:15,16; 14:5).

c) Parable of the Great Supper:

This feast at the Pharisee’s house had an interesting sequel in the discourse it led Jesus to utter against vainglory in feasting, and on the spirit of love which would prompt to the table being spread for the helpless and destitute rather than for the selfish enjoyment of the select few, closing, in answer to a pious ejaculation of one of the guests, with the parable of the Great Supper (Lu 14:7-24). The parable, with its climax in the invitation to bring in the poor, and maimed, and blind, and those from the highways and hedges, was a commentary on the counsels He had just been giving, but it had its deeper lesson in picturing the rejection by the Jews of the invitation to the feast God had made for them in His kingdom, and the call that would be given to the Gentiles to take their place.

d) Counting the Cost:

The injunctions to the multitudes as to the sacrifice and cross-bearing involved in discipleship are pointed by the examples of a man building a tower, and a king going to war, who count the cost before entering on their enterprises (Lu 14:25-35).

5. Martha and Mary:

At or about this time—perhaps before the incidents in Lu 14—Jesus paid the visit to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Dedication described in Joh 10:22-39. This seems the fitting place for the introduction of the episode of Martha and Mary which Luke narrates a little earlier (10:38-42). The "village" into which Jesus entered was no doubt Bethany (Joh 11:1). The picture given by Luke of the contrasted dispositions of the two sisters—Martha active and "serving" (compare Joh 12:2), Mary retiring and contemplative—entirely corresponds with that in John. Martha busied herself with preparations for the meal; Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. To Martha’s complaint, as if her sister were idling, Jesus gave the memorable answer, "One thing is needful: for Mary hath chosen the good part," etc. (Lu 10:42).

6. Feast of the Dedication:

(John 10:22-39)

The Feast of the Dedication, held in December, was in commemoration of the cleansing of the temple and restoration of its worship after its profanation by Antiochus Epiphanes (164 BC). Great excitement was occasioned by the appearance of Jesus at this feast, and some asked, "How long dost thou hold us in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus said He had told them, and His works attested His claim, but they were not of His true flock, and would not believe. To His own sheep He gave eternal life. The Jews anew wished to stone Him for claiming to be God. Jesus replied that even the law called the judges of Israel "gods" (Ps 82:6, "I said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High") how could it then be blasphemy for Him whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world to say of Himself, "I am the Son of God"? The Jews sought to take Him, but He passed from their midst.

II. From the Abode at Bethabara till the Raising of Lazarus.

After leaving Jerusalem Jesus went beyond Jordan again to the place where John at first baptized (Joh 10:40; compare Joh 1:28, called in the King James Version "Bethabara," in the Revised Version (British and American) "Bethany," distinct from the Bethany of John 11). There He "abode," implying a prolonged stay, and many resorted to Him. This spot, sacred to Jesus by His own baptism, may be regarded now as His headquarters from which excursions would be made to places in the neighborhood. Several of the incidents recorded by Luke are probably connected with this sojourn. 1. Parables of Lost Sheep, Lost Piece of Silver, Prodigal Son:

(Luke 15)

The stronger the opposition of scribes and Pharisees to Jesus became, the more by natural affinity did the classes regarded as outcast feel drawn to Him. He did not repel them, as the Pharisees did, but ate and drank with them. Publicans and sinners gathered to His teaching, and He associated with them. The complaining was great: "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." The defense of Jesus was in parables, and the Pharisees’ reproach may be thanked for three of the most beautiful parables Jesus ever spoke—the Lost Sheep (compare Mt 18:12-14), the Lost Piece of Silver, and the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). Why does the shepherd rejoice more over the one lost sheep brought back than over the ninety-nine that have not gone astray? Why does the woman rejoice more over the recovery of her lost drachma than over all the coins safe in her keeping? Why does the father rejoice more over the prodigal son come back in rags and penitence from the far country than over the obedient but austere brother that had never left the home? The stories were gateways into the inmost heart of God. There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninetynine just persons that need no repentance (Lu 15:7).

2. Parables of the Unjust Steward and the Rich Man and Lazarus:

(Luke 16)

Two other parables, interspersed by discourses (in part again met with in other connections, compare Lu 16:13 with Mt 6:24; Lu 16:16 with Mt 11:12; Lu 16:18 with Mt 5:32; 19:9, etc.), were spoken at this time—that of the Unjust Steward (Lu 16:1-9) and that of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lu 16:19-31). The dishonest steward, about to be dismissed, utilized his opportunities, still dishonestly, to make friends of his master’s creditors; let the "children of light" better his example by righteously using mammon to make friends for themselves, who shall receive them into everlasting habitations. The rich man, pampered in luxury, let the afflicted Lazarus starve at his gate. At death—in Hades—the positions are reversed: the rich man is in torment, stripped of all he had enjoyed; the poor man is at rest in Abraham’s bosom, compensated for all he suffered. It is character, not outward estate, that determines destiny. The unmerciful are doomed. Even a messenger from the unseen world will not save men, if they hear not Moses and the prophets (Lu 16:31).

In this connection Luke (17:1-10) places exhortations to the disciples on occasions of stumbling, forgiveness, the power of faith, renunciation of merit ("We are unprofitable servants"), some of which are found elsewhere (compare Mt 18:6,7,15,21, etc.).

3. The Summons to Bethany—Raising of Lazarus:

(John 11)

While Jesus was in the trans-Jordanic Bethabara, or Bethany, or in its neighborhood, a message came to Him from the house of Martha and Mary in the Judean Bethany (on the Mount of Olives, about 2 miles East from Jerusalem), that His friend Lazarus ("he whom thou lovest") was sick. The conduct of Jesus seemed strange, for He abode still two days where He was (Joh 11:6). As the sequel showed, this was only for the end of a yet more wonderful manifestation of His power and love, to the glory of God (Joh 11:4). Meanwhile Lazarus died, and was buried. When Jesus announced His intention of going into Judea, the disciples sought hard to dissuade Him (Joh 11:8); but Jesus was not moved by the fears they suggested. He reached Bethany (a distance of between 20 and 30 miles) on the fourth day after the burial of Lazarus (Joh 11:17), and was met on the outskirts by Martha, and afterward by Mary, both plunged in deepest sorrow. Both breathed the same plaint: "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" (Joh 11:21,32). To Martha Jesus gave the pledge, "Thy brother shall rise again," strengthening the faith she already had expressed in Him (Joh 11:22) by announcing Himself as "the resurrection, and the life" (Joh 11:25,26); at Mary’s words He was deeply moved, and asked to be taken to the tomb. Here, it is recorded, "Jesus wept" (Joh 11:35), the only other instance of His weeping in the Gospels being as He looked on lost Jerusalem (Lu 19:41). The proof of love was manifest, but some, as usual, suggested blame that this miracle-worker had not prevented His friend’s death (Joh 11:37). Arrived at the rock-tomb, Jesus, still groaning in Himself, caused the stone at its mouth to be removed, and, after prayer, spoke with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth" (Joh 11:43). The spirit returned, and the man who had been dead came forth bound with his grave-clothes. He was released and restored to his sisters.

Even this mighty deed did not alter the mind of the Pharisees, who held a council, and decided, on the advice of Caiaphas (Joh 11:50), that for the safety of the nation it was "expedient" that this man should die.

The circumstantiality of this beautiful narrative speaks irresistibly for its historical truth, and the objections raised by critical writers center really in their aversion to the miraculous as such.

III. From the Retirement to Ephraim till the Arrival at Bethany.

1. Retreat to Ephraim:

(John 11:54-57)

The hostility of the ruling classes was now so pronounced that, in the few weeks that remained till Jesus should go up to the Passover, He deemed it advisable to abide in privacy at a city called Ephraim (situation uncertain). That He was in secrecy during this period is implied in the statement (Joh 11:57) that if anyone knew where He was, he was to inform the chief priests and Pharisees. The retirement would be for Jesus a period of preparation for the ordeal before Him, as the wilderness had been for the commencement of His ministry.

2. The Journey Resumed:

On His leaving this retreat to resume His advance to Jerusalem the narratives again become rich in incident and teaching.

3. Cure of the Lepers:

(Luke 17:11-19)

It is not easy to define the route which brought Jesus again to the border line between Samaria and Galilee (Lu 17:11), but, in traversing this region, He was met by ten lepers, who besought Him for a cure. Jesus bade them go and show themselves to the priests, and on the way they were cleansed. Only one of the ten, and he a Samaritan, returned to give thanks and glorify God. Gratitude appeared in the unlikely quarter.

4. Pharisaic Questionings:

At some point in this journey the Pharisees sought to entrap Jesus on the question of divorce.

a) Divorce:

(Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:1-12) Was it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (Mt 19:3). Jesus in reply admitted the permission to divorce given by Moses (Mr 10:3-5), but declared that this was for the hardness of their hearts, and went back to the original institution of marriage in which the two so joined were declared to be "one flesh." Only one cause is admissible as a ground of separation and remarriage (Mt 19:9; compare Mt 5:31,32; Mark has not even the exception, which is probably, however, implied). Comments follow to the disciples in Mt on the subject of continence (Mt 19:10-12).


b) Coming of the Kingdom:

(Luke 17:20-37)

Another question asked by the Pharisees of Jesus was as to when the kingdom of God should come. The expectation excited by His own ministry and claims was that it was near; when should it appear? Rebuking their worldly ideas, Jesus warned them that the kingdom did not come "with observation"—was not a "Lo, there! Lo, here!"; it was "within" them, or "in their midst," though they did not perceive it. In the last decisive coming of the Son of Man there would be no dubiety as to His presence (Lu 17:24,25). He adds exhortations as to the suddenness of His coming, and the separations that would ensue (Lu 17:26-37), which Mt gives as part of the great discourse on the Last Things in chapter 24.

c) Parable of the Unjust Judge:

(Luke 18:1-8)

In close connection with the foregoing, as furnishing the ground for the certainty that this day of the Son of Man would come, Jesus spoke the parable of the Unjust Judge. This judge, though heedless of the claims of right, yet yielded to the widow’s importunity, and granted her justice against her adversary. How much more surely will the righteous, long-suffering God avenge His own elect, who cry unto Him day and night (Lu 18:7,8)! Yet men, in that supreme hour, will almost have lost faith in His coming (Lu 18:8).

A series of sayings and incidents at this time throw light upon the spirit of the kingdom.

5. The Spirit of the Kingdom:

The spirit of self-righteousness is rebuked and humble penitence as the condition of acceptance is enforced in the parable of the Pharisee and Publican.

a) Parable of Pharisee and Publican:

(Luke 18:9-14)

The Pharisee posing in his self-complacency at his fastings and tithes, and thanking God for his superiority to others, is set in vivid contrast to the abased publican, standing afar off, and able only to say, "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner" (Lu 18:13). Yet it was he who went down to his house "justified" (Lu 18:14).

b) Blessing of the Babies:

(Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17)

A similar lesson is inculcated in the beautiful incident of the blessing of the babes. The disciples rebuked the mothers for bringing their little ones, but Jesus, "moved with indignation" (Mark), received and blessed the babes, declaring that to such (to them and those of like spirit) belonged the kingdom of heaven. "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me," etc.

c) The Rich Young Ruler:

(Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30)

A third illustration—this time of the peril of covetousness—is afforded by the incident of the rich young ruler. This amiable, blameless, and evidently sincere young man ("Jesus looking upon him loved him," Mr 10:21) knelt, and addressing Jesus as "Good Teacher," asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus first declined the term "good," in the easy, conventional sense in which it was applied, then referred the ruler to the commandments as the standard of doing. All these, however, the young man averred he had observed from his youth up. He did not know himself. Jesus saw the secret hold his riches had upon his soul, and revealed it by the searching word, "If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast," etc. (Mt 19:21; compare Mark, "One thing thou lackest," etc.). This was enough. The young man could not yield up his "great possessions," and went away sorrowing. Jesus bases on his refusal earnest warnings against the love of riches, and points out, in answer to a question of Peter, that loss for His sake in this life is met with overwhelmingly great compensations in the life to come.

6. Third Announcement of the Passion:

(Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; 18:31-33)

Not unconnected with the foregoing teachings is the third solemn announcement to the disciples, so hard to be persuaded that the kingdom was not immediately to be set up in glory, of His approaching sufferings and death, followed by resurrection. The disciples had been "amazed" and "afraid" (Mk) at something strange in the aspect and walk of Jesus as they Lu were on the way, going to Jerusalem (compare Lu 9:51). His words gave the explanation. With them should be taken what is said in a succeeding incident of His baptism of suffering (Mr 10:38,39; compare Lu 12:50).

7. The Rewards of the Kingdom:

The spirit of the kingdom and sacrifice for the kingdom have already been associated with the idea of reward, but the principles underlying this reward are now made the subject of special teaching.

First by the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard the lesson is inculcated that reward in the kingdom is not according to any legal rule, but is governed by a Divine equity, in accordance with which the last may often be equal to, or take precedence of, the first.

a) Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard:

(Matthew 20:1-17)

The laborers were hired at different hours, yet all at the end received the same wage. The murmuring at the generosity of the householder of those who had worked longest betrayed a defectiveness of spirit which may explain why they were not more highly rewarded. In strictness, the kingdom is a gift of grace, in the sum total of its blessings one and the same to all.

b) The Sons of Zebedee:

(Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45)

Still there are distinctions of honor in God’s kingdom, but these are not arbitrarily made. This is the lesson of the reply of Jesus to the plea of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, with, apparently, the concurrence of the apostles themselves, that they might sit one on the right hand and the other on the left hand in His kingdom. It was a bold and ambitious request, and naturally moved the indignation of the other apostles. Still it had its ground in a certain nobility of spirit. For when Jesus asked if they were able to drink of His cup and be baptized with His baptism, they answered, "We are able." Jesus told them they should share that lot of suffering, but to sit on His right hand and on His left were not favors that could be arbitrarily bestowed, but would be given to those for whom it had been prepared of His Father—the preparation having regard to character and fitness, of which the Father alone was judge. Jesus went on to rebuke the spirit which led one to seek prominence over another, and laid down the essential law, "Whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister," enforcing it by His own never-to-be-forgotten example, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom, for many" (Mt 20:28; Mr 10:45).

8. Jesus at Jericho:

Accompanied by a great throng, possibly of pilgrims to the feast, Jesus drew near to the influential city of Jericho, in the Jordan valley, about 17 miles distant from Jerusalem. Here two notable incidents marked His progress.

a) The Cure of Bartimeus:

(Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-82; Luke 18:35-43)

As they approached the city (Luke) (Matthew and Mark place the incident as they "went out") a blind beggar, Bartimeus, hearing that "Jesus the Nazarene" (Mark) passed by, loudly called on Him as the "Son of David" to have mercy on him. The multitude would have restrained the man, but their rebukes only made him the more urgent in his cries. Jesus stopped in His way, called the blind man to Him, then, when he came, renewing his appeal, healed him. The cry of the beggar shows that the Davidic descent, if not the Messiahship, of Jesus was now known. Matthew varies from the other evangelists in speaking of "two blind men," while Matthew and Mark, as noted, make the cure take place on leaving, not on entering the city. Not improbably there are two healings, one on entering Jericho, the other on going from the city, and Matthew, after his fashion, groups them together (Luke’s language is really indefinite; literally, "as they were near to Jericho").

b) Zaccheus the Publican:

(Luke 19:1-10)

The entrance of Jesus into Jericho was signalized by a yet more striking incident. The chief collector of revenue in the city was Zaccheus, rich, but held in opprobrium ("a sinner") because of his occupation. Being little of stature, Zaccheus had climbed into the branches of a sycomore tree to see Jesus as He passed. To his amazement, and that of the crowd, Jesus stopped on His way, and called Zaccheus by name to hasten to come down, for that day He must abide at his house. Zaccheus joyfully received Him, and, moved to a complete change in his views of duty, declared his purpose of giving half his goods to the poor, and of restoring fourfold anything he might have taken by false accusation. It was a revolution in the man’s soul, wrought by love. "Today," Jesus testified, "is salvation come to this house ..... For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."

c) Parable of the Pounds:

(Luke 19:11-27)

The expectations of the multitude that the kingdom of God should immediately appear led Jesus to speak the parable of the Pounds, forewarning them that the consummation they looked for might be longer delayed than they thought, and impressing on them the need of loyalty, faithfulness and diligence, if that day, when it came, was not to prove disastrous to them. The nobleman went into a "far country" to receive a kingdom, and his ten servants were to trade with as many pounds (each = 100 drachmas) in his absence. On his return the faithful servants were rewarded in proportion to their diligence; the faithless one lost what he had; the rebellious citizens were destroyed. Thus Jesus fore-shadowed the doom that would overtake those. who were plotting against Him, and checked hopes that disregarded the moral conditions of honor in His kingdom.

Arrival at Bethany.

From Jericho Jesus moved on to Bethany, the abode of Lazarus and his sisters. To His halt here before His public entrance into Jerusalem the next events belong.



Importance of the Last Events:

We reach now the closing week and last solemn events of the earthly life of Jesus. The importance attached to this part of their narratives is seen by the space the evangelists devote to it. Of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark fully one-third is devoted to the events of the Passion Week and their sequel in the resurrection; Luke has several chapters; John gives half his Gospel to the same period. It is obvious that in the minds of the evangelists the crucifixion of Jesus is the pivot of their whole narrative—the denouement to which everything tends from the first.

I. The Events Preceding the Last Super.

1. The Chronology:

The arrival in Bethany is placed by John "six days before the Passover" (12:1). Assuming that the public entry into Jerusalem took place on the Sunday, and that the 14th of Nisan fell on the following Thursday, this would lead to the arrival being placed on the Friday or Saturday preceding, according to the mode of reckoning. It is in the highest degree unlikely that Jesus would journey from Jericho on the Jewish Sabbath; hence He may be supposed to have arrived on the Friday evening. The supper at which the anointing by Mary took place would be on the Saturday (Sabbath) evening. Matthew and Mark connect it with events two days before the Passover (Mt 26:2; Mr 14:1), but parenthetically, in a way which leaves the other order open.

2. The Anointing at Bethany:

(Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-9)

This beautiful deed occurred at a supper given in honor of Jesus at the house of one Simon, a leper (Matthew and Mark)—probably cured by Jesus—at which Martha, Mary and Lazarus were guests. Martha aided in serving (Joh 12:2). In the course of the meal, or at its close, Mary brought a costly box of nard (valued by Judas at "300 shillings," about $50, or 10 pounds; compare the American Revised Version margin on Joh 6:7), and with the perfume anointed the head (Matthew, Mark) and feet (John) of Jesus, wiping His feet with her hair (Matthew and Mark, though not mentioning the "feet," speak of the "body" of Jesus). Indignation, instigated by Judas (John), was at once awakened at what was deemed wanton waste. How much better had the money been given to the poor! Jesus vindicated Mary in her loving act—a prophetic anointing for His burial—and declared that wherever His gospel went, it would be spoken of for a memorial of her. It is the hearts from which such acts come that are the true friends of the poor. The chief priests were only the further exasperated at what was happening, and at the interest shown in Lazarus, and plotted to put Lazarus also to death (Joh 12:10).

3. The Entry into Jerusalem:

(Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)

On the day following—Palm Sunday—Jesus made His public entry as Messiah into Jerusalem. All the evangelists narrate this event. The Mount of Olives had to be crossed from Bethany, and Jesus sent two disciples to an adjacent village—probably Bethphage (this seems to have been also the name of a district)—where an ass and its colt would be found tied. These they were to bring to Him, Jesus assuring them of the permission of the owners. Garments were thrown over the colt, and Jesus seated Himself on it. In this humble fashion (as Mt and Joh note, in fulfillment of prophecy, Zec 9:9), He proceeded to Jerusalem, from which a multitude, bearing palm branches, had already come out to meet Him (John). Throngs accompanied Him, going before and after; these, spreading their garments, and strewing branches in the way, hailed Him with hosannas as the Son of David, the King of Israel, who came in the name of the Lord. Very different were the feelings in the breasts of the Pharisees. "Behold," they said, "how ye prevail nothing; lo, the world is gone after him" (Joh 12:19). They bade Jesus rebuke His disciples, but Jesus replied that if they were silent, the very stones would cry out (Lu 19:40).

Jesus Weeping over Jerusalem—Return to Bethany.

One incident in this progress to Jerusalem is related only by Lu 19:41-44. As at a bend in the road Jerusalem became suddenly visible, Jesus paused and wept over the city, so blind to its day of visitation, and so near to its awful doom. Not His own sufferings, but the thought of Jerusalem’s guilt and woes, filled Him with anguish. On reaching the city, Mark’s testimony is explicit that He did no more than enter the temple, and ‘look round on all things’ (Mr 11:11). Then eventide having come, He returned to Bethany with the Twelve.

4. Cursing of the Fig Tree—Second Cleansing of Temple:

(Matthew 21:12-22; Mark 11:12-26; Luke 19:45-48)

The morning of Monday found Jesus and His disciples again on their way to the city. Possibly the early hours had been spent by Jesus in solitary prayer, and, as they went, it is recorded that "he hungered." A fig tree from which, from its foliage, fruit might have been expected, stood invitingly by the wayside, but when Jesus approached it, it was found to have nothing but leaves—a striking symbol of the outwardly religious, but spiritually barren Jewish community. And in this sense Jesus used it in pronouncing on it the word of doom, "No man eat fruit from thee henceforward for ever" (Mark). Next morning (Tuesday), as the disciples passed, the tree was found withered from the roots. Matthew combines the events of the cursing and the withering, placing both on the second day, but Mark more accurately distinguishes them. Jesus used the surprise of the disciples as the occasion of a lesson on the omnipotence of faith, with added counsels on prayer.

Were There Two Cleansings?

Pursuing His journey on the first morning, Jesus reached the temple, and there, as His first act, is stated by Mt and Mr to have cleansed the temple of the traders. It is a diffcult question whether this is a second cleansing, or the same act as that recorded by John at the beginning of the ministry (Joh 2:13-22; see above), and here narrated out of its chronological order. The acts are at least quite similar in character and significance. In favor of a second cleansing is the anger of the priests and scribes (Mr 11:18; Lu 19:47), and their demand next day for His authority. No other incidents are recorded of this visit to the temple, except the healing of certain blind and lame, and the praises of the children, "Hosanna to the son of David"—an echo of the previous day’s proceedings (Mt 21:14-16). In the evening He went back to Bethany.

5. The Eventful Tuesday:

Far different is it with the third day of these visits of Jesus to the temple—the Tuesday of the Passion Week. This is crowded with parables, discourses, incidents, so numerous, impressive, tragical, as to oppress the mind in seeking to grasp how one short day could embrace them all. It was the last day of the appearance of Jesus in the temple (Joh 12:36), and marks His final break with the authorities of the nation, on whom His words of denunciation (Mt 23) fell with overwhelming force. The thread of the day’s proceedings may thus be briefly traced.

a) The Demand for Authority—Parables:

(Matthew 21:23-22:14; Mark 11:27-12:12; Luke 20:1-18)

On His first appearance in the temple on the Tuesday morning, Jesus was met by a demand from the chief priests, scribes and elders (representatives of the Sanhedrin), for the authority by which He acted as He did. Jesus met them by a counterquestion, "The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?" The dilemma was obvious. If John was Divinely accredited, why did they not accept his testimony to Jesus? Yet they feared to say his mission was of men, for John was universally esteemed a prophet. They could therefore only lamely reply: "We cannot tell" (the King James Version). Matters had now come to an issue, and Jesus, reverting to the method of parable, set forth plainly their sin and its results to themselves and others.

The Two Sons—the Wicked Husbandmen—the Marriage of the King’s Son.

The parables spoken on this occasion were: that of the Two Sons, one who said "I go not," but afterward repented and went, the other who said, "I go, sir," but went not—pointing the moral that the publicans and harlots went into the kingdom of God before the self-righteous leaders who rejected the preaching of John (Mt 21:28-32); that of the Wicked Husbandmen, who slew the servants, and finally the son, sent to them, and were at length themselves destroyed, the vineyard being given to others—a prophecy of the transferring of the kingdom to the Gentiles (Matthew, Mark, Luke); and that of the Marriage of the King’s Son (Mt 22:2-14), akin to that of the Great Supper in Lu 14:16-24 in its gathering in of the outcasts to take the place of those who had been bidden, but distinguished from it by the feature of the wedding garment, the lack of which meant being thrust into the outer darkness. The Pharisees easily perceived that these parables were spoken of them (Mt 21:45; Mr 12:12; Lu 20:19), and were correspondingly enraged, yet dared not touch Jesus for fear of the people.

b) Ensnaring Questions, etc.:

(Matthew 22:1-46; Mark 12:13-37; Luke 20:19-44)

The attempt was next made on the part of the Pharisees, Herodians and Sadducees—now joined in a common cause—to ensnare Jesus by captious and compromising questions. These attempts He met with a wisdom and dignity which foiled His adversaries, while He showed a ready appreciation of a candid spirit when it presented itself, and turned the point against His opponents by putting a question on the Davidic sonship of the Messiah.

(1) Tribute to Caesar—the Resurrection—the Great Commandment.

First the Pharisees with the Herodians sought to entrap Him by raising the question of the lawfulness of tribute to Caesar. By causing them to produce a denarius bearing Caesar’s image and superscription, Jesus obtained from them a recognition of their acceptance of Caesar’s authority, and bade them render Caesar’s things to Caesar, and God’s to God. The Sadducees next tried Him with the puzzle of the wife who had seven husbands, leading up to denial of the resurrection; but Jesus met them by showing that marriage relations have no place in the resurrection life, and by pointing to the implication of a future life in God’s word to Moses, "I am the God of Abraham," etc. God "is not the God of the dead, but of the living," a fact which carried with it all the weight of resurrection, as needed for the completion of the personal life. The candid scribe, who came last with His question as to which commandment was first of all, had a different reception. Jesus met Him kindly, satisfied him with His answer, and pronounced him "not far from the kingdom of God" (Mr 12:34).

(2) David’s Son and Lord.

The adversaries were silenced, but Jesus now put to them His own question. If David in Ps 110 could say "Yahweh saith unto my lord, Sit thou on my right hand," etc., how was this reconcilable with the Christ being David’s son? The question was based on the acceptance of the oracle as spoken by David, or one of his house, of the Messiah, and was intended to suggest the higher nature of Christ as one with God in a Divine sovereignty. David’s son was also David’s Lord.

c) The Great Denunciation:

(Matthew 23; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47; compare Luke 11:39-52)

At this point, in audience of the multitudes and of His disciples in the temple, Jesus delivered that tremendous indictment of the scribes and Pharisees, with denunciations of woes upon them for their hypocrisy and iniquity of conduct, recorded most fully in Mt 23. A more tremendous denunciation of a class was never uttered. While conceding to the scribes and Pharisees any authority they lawfully possessed (23:2,3), Jesus specially dwelt on their divorce of practice from precept. They said and did not (23:3). He denounced their perversion of the right, their tyranny, their ostentation, their keeping back others from the kingdom, their zeal in securing proselytes, only to make them, when gained, worse than themselves, their immoral casuistry, their scruples about trifles, while neglecting essentials, their exaltation of the outward at the expense of the inward, their building the tombs of the prophets, while harboring the spirit of those that killed the prophets. He declared them to be foul and corrupt to the last degree: ‘sons of Gehenna’ (23:15,33). So awful a condition meant ripeness for doom. On them, through that law of retribution which binds generation with generation in guilt and penalty, would come all the righteous blood shed since the days of Abel (the allusion to "Zachariah son of Barachiah," 23:35, is unmistakably to 2Ch 24:21—this being the last book in the Hebrew Canon—but "Barachiah" seems a confusion with Zec 1:1, perhaps through a copyist’s gloss or error). At the close indignation melts into tenderness in the affecting plaint over Jerusalem—"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, .... how often would I have gathered thy children together," etc. (Mt 23:37-39)—words found in Luke in an earlier context (13:34,35), but assuredly also appropriate here. For other parts of the discourse found earlier, compare Lu 11:39-52. All seems to have been gathered up afresh in this final accusation. It can be imagined that the anger of the Pharisees was fierce at such words, yet they did not venture openly to touch Him.

d) The Widow’s Offering:

(Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4)

Before finally leaving the temple, Jesus seems to have passed from the outer court into the women’s court, and there to have sat down near the receptacles provided for the gifts of the worshippers. Many who were wealthy cast of their gold and silver into the treasury, but the eye of Jesus singled out one poor widow who, creeping up, cast in two mites (Greek lepta, the smallest of coins), which made up but a farthing. It was little, but it was her all, and Jesus immortalized her poor offering by declaring that, out of her want, she had given more than the wealthlest there. Gifts were measured in His sight by the willingness that prompted them, and by the sacrifice they entailed.

e) The Visit of the Greeks:

(John 12:20-36)

It is perhaps to this crowded day, though some place it earlier in the week (on Sunday or Monday), that the incident should be referred of the request of certain Greeks to see Jesus, as related in Joh 12:20 ff. Who these Greeks were, or whence they came, is unknown, but they were evidently proselytes to the Jewish faith, and men of a sincere spirit. Their request was made through Philip of Bethsaida, and Philip and Andrew conveyed it to Jesus. It is not said whether their wish was granted, but we can hardly doubt that it was. Jesus evidently saw in the incident a prelude of that glory that should accrue to Himself through all men being drawn to Him (Joh 12:23,32). But He saw as clearly that this "glorifying" could only be through His death (Joh 12:24,33), and He universalized it into a law of His Kingdom that, as a grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die if it is to be multiplied, so only through sacrifice can any life be made truly fruitful (Joh 12:24,25). The thought of death, however, always brought trouble to the soul of Jesus (Joh 12:27), and a voice from the Father was given to comfort Him. The multitude thought it thundered, and failed to apprehend the meaning of the voice, or His own words about being "lifted up" (Joh 12:29,34).

f) Discourse on the Last Things:

(Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-36)

Jesus had now bidden farewell to the temple. As He was going out, His disciples—or one of them (Mark)—called His attention to the magnificence of the buildings of the temple, eliciting from Him the startling reply that not one stone should be left upon another that should not be thrown down. Later in the evening, when seated on the Mount of Olives on their return journey, in view of the temple, Andrew, James and John (Mark) asked Him privately when these things should be, and what would be the signs of their fulfillment. In Matthew the question is put more precisely, "When shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming (parousia), and of the end of the world?" (or "consummation of the age"). It is in answer to these complex questions that Jesus spoke His great discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and His final coming, some of the strands in which it is difficult now to disentangle. In the extended report in Mt 24 certain passages appear which are given elsewhere by Luke (compare Lu 17:20-37). It may tend to clearness if a distinction be observed between the nearer event of the destruction of Jerusalem—also in its way a coming of the Son of Man—and the more remote event of the final parousia. The former, to which Mt 24:15-28 more specially belong, seems referred to by the "these things" in 24:34, which, it is declared, shall be fulfilled in that generation. Of the final parousia, on the other hand, it is declared in 24:36 that "of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only" (compare Mr 13:32). The difficulty occasioned by the immediately of Mt 24:29 is relieved by recalling the absence of perspective and grouping of future events in all apocalyptic prophecy—the consummation ever rising as the background of the immediate experience which is its prelude. The discourse then divides itself into a general part (Mt 24:4-14), delineating the character of the entire period till the consummation (false Christs and prophets, wars, tribulations, apostasies, preaching of the gospel to all nations, etc.); a special part relating to the impending destruction of the city, with appropriate warnings (Mt 24:15-28); and a closing part (Mt 24:32-51) relating mainly to the final parousia, but not without reference to preceding events in the extension of Christ’s kingdom, and ingathering of His elect (Mt 24:30,31). Warning is given of the suddenness of the coming of the Son of Man, and the need of being prepared for it (Mt 24:37-51). The whole is a massive prophecy, resting on Christ’s consciousness that His death would be, not the defeat of His mission, but the opening up of the way to His final glorification and triumph.

g) Parables of Ten Virgins, Talents and Last Judgment:

(Matthew 25)

To this great discourse on the solemnities of the end, Jesus, still addressing His disciples, added three memorable parables of instruction and warning (Mt 25)—the first, that of the Ten Virgins, picturing, under the figure of virgins who went to meet the bridegroom with insufficient provision of oil for their lamps, the danger of being taken unawares in waiting for the Son of Man; the second, that of the Talents, akin to the parable in Luke of the Pounds (19:11-27), emphasizing the need of diligence in the Lord’s absence; the third, that of the Sheep and Goats, or Last Judgment, showing how the last division will be made according as discipleship is evinced by loving deeds done to those in need on earth—such deeds being owned by Christ the King as done to Himself. Love is thus declared to be the ultimate law in Christ’s kingdom (compare 1Co 13); the loveless spirit is reprobated. "These shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life" (Mt 25:46).

6. A Day of Retirement:

(compare John 12:36)

Lu 21:37,38 might suggest that Jesus taught in the temple every day till the Thursday of the Passover; if, however, the denunciation took place, as nearly all agree, on Tuesday, an exception must be made of the Wednesday, which Jesus probably spent in retirement in Bethany in preparation of spirit for His last great conflict (others arrange differently, and put some of the preceding events in this day). The summary in Joh 12:36-43 connects the blindness of mind of the Pharisees with Isaiah’s vision (Isa 6:10), and with the prophecy of the rejected Servant (Isa 53:1).

7. An Atmosphere of Plotting—Judas and the Priests:

(Matthew 26:1-5,14-16; Mark 14:1,2,10,11; Luke 22:1-6)

The plot for the destruction of Jesus was meanwhile maturing. Two days before the Passover (Tuesday evening), Jesus forewarned the disciples of His approaching betrayal and crucifixion (Mt 26:2); and probably at that very hour a secret meeting of the chief priests and elders was being held in the court of the house of the high priest, Caiaphas (Matthew), to consult as to the means of putting Him to death. Their resolve was that it should not be done on the feast day, lest there should be a tumult; but the appearance of Judas, who since the anointing had seemingly meditated this step, speedily changed their plans. For the paltry sum of 30 pieces of silver (shekels of the sanctuary, less than $20 or 4 pounds; the price of a slave, Ex 21:32; compare Zec 11:12), the recreant disciple, perhaps persuading himself that he was really forcing Jesus to an exercise of His Messianic power, agreed to betray his Lord. The covenant of infamy was made, and the traitor now only waited his opportunity to carry out his project.


II. From the Last Supper till the Cross.

1. The Chronology:

A question of admitted difficulty arises in the comparison of the Synoptics and John as to the dates of the Last Supper and of the crucifixion. The Synoptics seem clearly to place the Last Supper on the evening of the 14th of Nisan (in Jewish reckoning, the beginning of the 15th), and to identify it with the ordinary paschal meal (Mt 26:17-19). The crucifixion then took place on the 15th. John, on the contrary, seems to place the supper on the day before the Passover (13:1), and the crucifixion on the 14th, when the Passover had not yet been eaten (18:28; 19:14). Many, on this ground, affirm an irreconcilable discrepancy between John and the Synoptics, some (e.g. Meyer, Farrar, less decisively Sanday) preferring Jn; others (Strauss, Baur, Schmiedel, etc.) using the fact to discredit Jn. By those who accept both accounts, various modes of reconciliation are proposed. A favorite opinion (early church writers; many moderns, as Godet, Westcott, Farrar) is that Jesus, in view of His death, anticipated the Passover, and ate His parting meal with His disciples on the evening of the 13th; others (e.g. Tholuck, Luthardt, Edersheim, Andrews, D. Smith), adhering to the Synoptics, take the view, here shared, that the apparent discrepancy is accounted for by a somewhat freer usage of terms in John. Details of the discussion must be sought in the works on the subject. The case for the anticipatory view is well given in Westcott, Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, 339 ff; and in Farrar, Life of Christ, Excur. X; a good statement of that for the Synoptics may be seen in Andrews, Life of our Lord; compare Tholuck, Commentary on John, on 13:1; Luthardt, Commentary on John, on 13:1; 18:28; D. Smith, Days of His Flesh, App. II. The language of the Synoptists ("the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover," Mr 14:12) leaves no doubt that they intended to identify the Last Supper with the regular Passover, and it is hardly conceivable that they could be mistaken on so vital a point of the apostolic tradition. This also was the view of the churches of Asia Minor, where John himself latterly resided. On the other hand, the phrase to "eat the passover" in Joh 18:28 may very well, in John’s usage, refer to participation in the special sacrifices which formed a chief feature of the proceedings on the 15th. The allusion in Joh 13:1 need mean no more than that, the Passover now impending, Jesus, loving His disciples to the end, gave them a special token of that love during the meal that ensued. The "preparation of the passover" in Joh 19:14,31 most naturally refers to the preparation for the Sabbath of the Passover week, alluded to also by the Synoptics (Mt 27:62; Mr 15:42; Lu 23:54). The objections based on rabbinical regulations about the Sabbath are convincingly met by Tholuck (see also Andrews). We assume, therefore, that our Lord ate the Passover with His disciples at the usual time—the evening of the 14th of Nisan (i.e. the beginning of the 15th).

2. The Last Supper:

(Matthew 26:17-35; Mark 14:12-31; Luke 22:7-38; John 13; compare 1Co 11:23-25)

In the scene in the upper chamber, at the observance of the Last Supper, we enter the holy of holies of this part of the Lord’s history. It is difficult, in combining the narratives, to be sure of the order of all the particulars, but the main events are clear. They may be exhibited as follows:

a) The Preparation:

On "the first day of unleavened bread"—Thursday, 14th of Nisan—Jesus bade two of His disciples (Luke names Peter and John) make the needful preparations for the observance of the Passover. This included the sacrificing of the lamb at the temple, and the securing of a guest-chamber. Jesus bade the disciples follow a man whom they would meet bearing a pitcher, and at the house where he stopped they would find one willing to receive them. The master of the house, doubtless a disciple, at once gave them "a large upper room furnished and ready" (Mark); there they made ready.

b) Dispute about Precedence—Washing of the Disciples’ Feet—Departure of Judas:

Evening being come, Jesus and the Twelve assembled, and took their places for the meal. We gather from Joh 13:23 that John reclined next to Jesus (on the right), and the sequel shows that Judas and Peter were near on the other side. It was probably this arrangement that gave rise to the unseemly strife for precedence among the disciples narratedin Lu 22:24-30. The spirit thus displayed Jesus rebuked, as He had more than once had occasion to do (compare Mr 9:33-37); then (for here may be inserted the beautiful incident in Joh 13:1 ff), rising from the table, He gave them an amazing illustration of His own precept, "He that is chief (let him become) as he that doth serve ..... I am in the midst of you as he that serveth" (Lu 22:26,27), in divesting Himself of His garments, girding Himself with a towel, and performing the act of a servant in washing His disciples’ feet. Peter’s exclamation must have expressed the feelings of all: "Lord, dost thou wash my feet?" The act of the Divine Master was a wonderful lesson in humility, but Jesus used it also as a parable of something higher. "If I wash thee not (i.e. if thou art not cleansed by the receiving of my word and spirit, which this washing symbolizes), thou hast no part with me"; then on Peter’s further impulsive protest, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head," the word: "He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit" (i.e. sanctification of the inner man is once for all, but there is need for cleansing from the sins of the daily walk). Resuming His place at the table, He bade them imitate the example He had just given them.

Is it I?

An ominous word had accompanied the reply to Peter, "Ye are not all clean" (Joh 13:10,11). As the supper proceeded, the meaning of this was made plain. Judas, who had already sold his Master, was at the table with the rest. He had permitted Jesus to wash his feet, and remained unmoved by that surpassing act of condescending love. Jesus was "troubled in spirit" and now openly declared, "One of you shall betray me" (the Greek word means literally, "deliver up": compare Lu 22:4,6, and the Revised Version margin throughout). It was an astounding announcement to the disciples, and from one and another came the trembling question, "Lord, is it I?" Jesus answered that it was one of those dipping his hand with Him in the dish (Mark), and spoke of the woe that would overtake the betrayer ("Good were it for that man if he had not been born"). John, at a sign from Peter, asked more definitely, "Who is it?" (John). Jesus said, but to John only, it was he to whom He would give a sop, and the sop was given to Judas. The traitor even yet sought to mask his treachery by the words, "Is it I, Rabbi?" and Jesus replied, though still not aloud, "Thou hast said" (Matthew); then, as Satanic passion stirred the breast of Judas, He added, "What thou doest, do quickly" (John). Judas at once rose and went out—into the night (Joh 13:30). The disciples, not comprehending his abrupt departure, thought some errand had been given him for the feast or for the poor. Jesus was relieved by his departure and spoke of the glory coming to Himself and to His Father, and of love as the mark of true discipleship (Joh 13:31-35).

c) The Lord’s Supper:

The forms of the observance of the Passover by the Jews are given elsewhere (see PASSOVER). Luke alone of the New Testament writers speaks of 2 cups (22:17,20); in Jewish practice 4 cups were used. The "Western" text, Codex Bezae (D), omits Luke’s 2nd cup, from which some (compare Sanday, Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes)) infer duplication, but this is not necessary. Luke’s 1st cup (Lu 22:17) may be that with which the paschal supper opened; the 2nd cup—that mentioned by all the writers—was probably the 3rd Jewish cup, known as "the cup of blessing" (compare 1Co 10:16). Some, however, as Meyer, make it the 4th cup. It is implied in Matthew, Mark, John, that by this time Judas had gone. Left thus with His own, the essentials of the paschal meal being complete, Jesus proceeded, by taking and distributing bread and wine, associating them with His body and blood, soon to be offered in death upon the cross, to institute that sacred rite in which, through all ages since (though its simplicity has often been sadly obscured) His love and sacrifice have been commemorated by His church. There are variations of phrase in the different accounts, but in the essentials of the sacramental institution there is entire agreement. Taking bread, after thanks to God, Jesus broke it, and gave it to the disciples with the words, "This is my body"; the cup, in like manner, after thanksgiving, He gave them with the words, "This is my blood of the covenant (in Luke and Paul, "the new covenant in my blood") which is poured out for many" (Matthew adds, "unto remission of sins"). Luke and Paul add what is implied in the others: "This do in remembrance of me" (Lu 22:19; 1Co 11:24). Nothing could more plainly designate the bread and wine as holy symbols of the Lord’s body and blood, offered in death for man’s redemption, and sealing in His blood a new covenant with God; nor, so long as the rite is observed in its Divine simplicity, as Jesus instituted it, will it be possible to expunge from His death the character of a redeeming sacrifice. In touching words Jesus intimated that He would no more drink of the fruit of the vine till He drank it new with them in their Father’s Kingdom (on the doctrinal aspects, see EUCHARIST; SACRAMENTS; LORD’S SUPPER).

d) The Last Discourses—Intercessory Prayer:

The Supper was over, and parting was imminent, but Jesus did not leave the holy chamber till He had poured out His inmost heart in those tender, consolatory, profoundly spiritual addresses which the beloved disciple has preserved for us in John 14; 15; and 16, followed by the wonderful closing intercessory prayer of John 17. He was leaving them, but their hearts were not to be disquieted, for they would see Him again (14:18; 16:16 ff), and if, ere long, He would part with them again in visible form, it was only outwardly He would be separated from them, for He would send them the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who would take His place, to guide them into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance that He had said to them (14:16,17; 15:26; 16:7-14). If He went away, it was to prepare a place for them, and He would come again to receive them to Himself in His Father’s house (14:1-3); let them meanwhile show their love to Him by keeping His commandments (14:15,23,14). In the Spirit He Himself and the Father would dwell in the souls that loved Him (14:21-23). The intimacy of their union with Him would be like that of branches in the vine; only by abiding in Him could they bring forth fruit (15:1 ff). They would have tribulations (15:18 ff; 16:1,2), but as His dying bequest He left them His own peace (14:27); that would sustain their hearts in all trial (16:33). With many such promises did He comfort them in view of the terrible ordeal through which they were soon to pass; then, addressing His Father, He prayed for their holy keeping, and their final admission to His glory (17:9-18,24).

These solemn discourses finished, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn (the "Hallel") and departed to go to the Mount of Olives. Comparing the evangelists, one would infer that the conversation in which Jesus foretold the denial of Peter at least commenced before they left the chamber (Lu 22:31 ; John connects it, probably through relation of subject, with the exposure of Judas, Joh 13:36-38); but it seems to have continued on the way (Matthew, Mark).

e) The Departure and Warning:

Jesus had spoken of their being "offended" in Him that night. In his exaltation of spirit, Peter declared that though all should be offended in Him, he would never be offended. Jesus, who had already warned Peter that Satan sought to have him, that he might sift him as wheat (Lu 22:31; but "I made supplication for thee," etc.), now told him that before the cock should crow, he would thrice deny Him. Peter stoutly maintained that he would die rather than be guilty of so base an act—so little did he or the others (Mt 26:35; Mr 14:31) know themselves! The enigmatic words in Lu 22:36 about taking scrip and sword point metaphorically to the need, in the times that were coming upon them, of every lawful means of provision and self-defence; the succeeding words show that "sword" is not intended to be taken literally (22:38).

3. Gethsemane—the Betrayal and Arrest:

(Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-53; Luke 22:39-53; John 18:1-12)

Descending to the valley, Jesus and His disciples, crossing the brook Kidron ("of the cedars"), entered the "garden" (John) known as Gethsemane ("oil-press"), at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Here took place the agony, which is the proper commencement of the Passion, the betrayal by Judas and the arrest of Jesus.

During the evening the thoughts of Jesus had been occupied mainly with His disciples; now that the hour had come when the things predicted concerning Him should have fulfillment (Lu 22:37 "your hour, and the power of darkness," Lu 22:53), it was inevitable that mind and spirit should concentrate on the awful bodily and mental sufferings that lay before Him.

a) Agony in the Garden:

It was not the thought of physical suffering alone—from that also the pure and sensitive humanity of Jesus shrank with natural horror—but death to Him, the Holy One and Prince of Life, had an indescribably hateful character as a hostile power in humanity, due to the judgment of God on sin, and now descending upon Him through the workings of the vilest of human passions in the religious heads of His nation. What anguish to such an One, filled with love and the desire to save, to feel Himself rejected, betrayed, deserted, doomed to a malefactor’s cross—alone, yet not alone, for the Father was with Him! (Joh 16:32). The burden on His spirit when He reached Gethsemane was already, as the language used shows, all but unendurable—"amazed," "sore troubled," "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death" (Mark). There, bidding the other disciples wait, He took with Him Peter, and James, and John, and withdrew into the recesses of the garden. Leaving these also a little behind, He sank on the ground in solitary "agony" (Luke), and "with strong crying and tears" (Heb 5:7), poured out His soul in earnest supplication to His Father. "Let this cup pass away from me"—it could not be, but thus the revulsion of His nature was expressed—"howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt." The passage in Lu (22:44), "His sweat became as it were great drops of blood," etc., though omitted in certain manuscripts, doubtless preserves a genuine trait. Returning to the three, He found them overpowered with sleep: even the support of their wakeful sympathy was denied Him! "Watch and pray," He gently admonished them, "that ye enter not into temptation." A second and third time the same thing happened—wrestling with God on His part, sleep on theirs, till, with Divine strengthening (Lu 22:41), victory was attained, and calm restored. "Sleep on now," He said to His disciples (the crisis is past; your help can avail no more): "Arise, let us be going" (the future has to be faced; the betrayer is at hand. See the remarkable sermon of F.W. Robertson, II, sermon 22).

b) Betrayal by Judas—Jesus Arrested:

The crisis had indeed arrived. Through the darkness, even as Jesus spoke, was seen flashing the light of torches and lanterns, revealing a mingled company of armed men—Roman soldiers, temple officers (John), others—sent by the chief priests, scribes and elders, to apprehend Jesus. Their guide was Judas. It had been found impracticable to lay hands on Jesus in public, but Judas knew this retreat (Joh 18:2), and had arranged, by an act of dastardly treachery, to enable them to effect the capture in privacy. The sign was to be a kiss. With an affectation of friendship, only possible to one into whose heart the devil had truly entered (Lu 22:3; Joh 13:27), Judas advanced, and hailing Jesus as "‘Master," effusively kissed Him (Mt 26:49; Mr 14:45 margin). Jesus had asked, "Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke); now He said, "Friend, do that for which thou art come" (Matthew). The soldiers essayed to take Jesus, but on their first approach, driven back as by a supernatural power, they fell to the ground (Jn). A proof thus given of the voluntariness of His surrender (compare Mt 26:53: "Thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father," etc.), Jesus, remarking only on the iniquity of secret violence when every day they had opportunity to take Him in the temple, submitted to be seized and bound. At this point Peter, with characteristic impetuosity, remembering, perhaps, his pledge to die, if need be, with Jesus, drew a sword, and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus (John gives the names). If he thought his deed justified by what Jesus had earlier said about "swords" (Lu 22:36,38), he was speedily undeceived by Jesus’ rebuke (Joh 18:11), and by His healing of the ear (Luke; the last miracle of Jesus before His death). How little this flicker of impulsive boldness meant is shown by the general panic that immediately followed. "All the disciples," it is related, "left him, and fled" (Matthew, Mark). Mr tells of a young man who had come upon the scene with only a linen cloth cast about his naked body, and who fled, leaving the cloth behind (14:51,52). Not improbably the young man was Mark himself.

4. Trial before the Sanhedrin:

(Matthew 26:57-75; 27:1-10; Mark 14:53-72; 15:1; Luke 22:54-71; John 18:12-27; compare Ac 1:18,19):

It would be about midnight when Jesus was arrested, and He was at once hurried to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, where in expectation of the capture, a company of chief priests, scribes and elders—members of the Sanhedrin—were already assembled. Here the first stage in the trial of Jesus took place.

The legal and constitutional questions connected with the trial of Jesus are considered in the article on JESUS CHRIST, THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF; see also Dr. Taylor Innes, The Trial of Jesus Christ; on the powers of the Sanhedrin, see SANHEDRIN, and compare Schurer, Jewish People, etc., II, 1, pp. 163 ff. There seems little doubt that, while certain judicial forms were observed, the trial was illegal in nearly every particular. The arrest itself was arbitrary, as not rounded on any formal accusation (the Sanhedrin, however, seems to have arrogated to itself powers of this kind; compare Ac 4:1 ff); but the night session, lack of definite charge, search for testimony, interrogation of accused, haste in condemnation, were unquestionably in flagrant violation of the established rules of Jewish judicial procedure in such cases. It is to be remembered that the death of Jesus had already been decided on by the heads of the Sanhedrin, so that the trial was wholly a means to a foregone conclusion. On the historical side, certain difficulties arise. Joh seems to make the first interrogation of Jesus take place before Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas (on Annas, see below; though deposed 15 years before, he retained, in reality, all the dignity and influence of the high-priesthood; compare Lu 3:2; Ac 4:6); after which He is sent to Caiaphas (Joh 18:13,14,19-24). The narrative is simplified if either

(1) Joh 18:19-23 are regarded as a preliminary interrogatory by Annas till matters were prepared for the arraignment before Caiaphas; or

(2) 18:24 is taken as retrospective (in the sense of "had sent," as in the King James Version), and the interrogation is included in the trial by Caiaphas (compare 18:19: "the high priest").

Annas and Caiaphas may be presumed from the account of Peter’s denials to have occupied the same official residence; else Annas was present on this night to be in readiness for the trial. The frequently occurring term "chief priests" denotes the high priests, with those who had formerly held this rank, and members of their families (compare Schurer, op. cit., 203 ff). They formed, with the scribes, the most important element in the Sanhedrin.

a) Before Annas and Caiaphas—the Unjust Judgment:

First Jesus was led before Annas, then by him, after a brief interview, was transferred, still bound, to Caiaphas. Annas had been deposed, as above noticed, much earlier (15 AD), but still retained the name and through his sons and relations, as long as he lived, exercised much of the authority of high priest. Like all those holding this high office, he and Caiaphas were Sadducees. Annas—if he is the questioner in Joh 18:19-23—asked Jesus concerning His disciples and His teaching. Such interrogation was unlawful, the duty of the accuser, in Jewish law, being to produce witnesses; properly, therefore, Jesus referred him to His public teaching in the temple, and bade him ask those who heard Him there. An officer standing by struck Jesus with his hand for so speaking: an indignity which Jesus endured with meek remonstrance (18:22,23).

(1) An Illegal Session.

Meanwhile a company of the Sanhedrin had assembled (23 sufficed for a quorum), and Jesus was brought before this tribunal, which was presided over by Caiaphas. A hurried search had been made for witnesses (this, like the night session, was illegal), but even the suborned testimony thus obtained ("false witnesses") was found useless for the purpose of establishing, constructively or directly, a charge of blasphemy against Jesus. At length two witnesses were produced who gave a garbled version of the early saying of Jesus (Joh 2:19) about destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days. To speak against the temple might be construed as speaking against God (compare Mt 23:16,21; Ac 6:13,14), but here too the witnesses broke down through lack of agreement. At all costs, however, must Jesus be condemned: the unprecedented course therefore was taken of seeking a conviction from the mouth of the accused Himself. Rising from his seat, the high priest adjured Jesus by the living God to tell them whether He was the Christ, the Son of God (in Mark, "Son of the Blessed"). In using this title, Caiaphas had evidently in view, as in Joh 5:18; 10:33, a claim to equality with God. The supreme moment had come, and Jesus did not falter in His reply: "Thou hast said." Then, identifying Himself with the Son of Man in Daniel’s vision (Da 7:13,14), He solemnly added, "Henceforth (from His resurrection on) ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." It was enough. Without even the pretense of inquiry into the truth or falsehood of the claim, the high priest rent his garments, exclaiming, "He hath spoken blasphemy," and by assent of all Jesus was adjudged worthy of death. Abuse and insult followed. The minions of the Sanhedrin were permitted to spit on the condemned One, smite Him, blindfold and mock Him, saying, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ: who is he that struck thee?" Then, with further blows, He was led away (Mt 26:68).

(2) A Morning Confirmation.

To give color of judicial sanction to these tumultuous and wholly irregular night proceedings, a more formal meeting of the Sanhedrin was convened as soon as day had dawned (Mt 27:1; Mr 15:1; Lu 22:66-71). Probably the irregularities were held to be excused by the urgency of the occasion and the solemnities of the feast. Jesus was again brought forward; new questions were put which He declined to answer. Possibly a new avowal of His Messiahship was made (more probably Luke includes in this scene, the only one he records, some of the particulars of the earlier proceedings). The judgment of the past night was confirmed.

b) The Threefold Denial:

While this greatest moral tragedy of the trial and condemnation of Jesus was in process, a lesser, but still awful, tragedy in the history of a soul was being enacted in the court of the same building (from this the chamber in which the Sanhedrin sat was visible), in the threefold denial of his Master by the apostle Peter. Peter, who had followed "afar off" (Luke), had gained access to the court through an unnamed disciple, whom it is easy to identify with John (Joh 18:15). As he stood warming himself at a fire which had been kindled, the maid who had admitted them (John), gazing attentively at Peter, said boldly, "Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean" (Mt 26:69). Unnerved, and affrighted by his surroundings, Peter took the readiest mode of escape in denial. "I know him not." His heart must have sunk within him as he framed the words, and the crowing of a cock at the moment (Mark—perhaps an hour after midnight), reminding him of his Master’s warning, completed his discomfiture. Guiltily he withdrew to the porch, only a little after to be accosted by another (the maid had spoken to her neighbors, Mark), with the same charge. More afraid than ever, he declared again, "I know not this man," and, seeing he was not believed, strengthened the denial with an oath. Yet a third time, an hour later, a bystander (or several, Mark), this time founding on his Galilean speech, pronounced, "Of a truth thou art one of them." Peter, to clear himself, cursed and swore, anew disclaiming knowledge of his Lord. To this depth had the boastful apostle fallen—as low, it might seem, as Judas! But there was a difference. As Peter spoke the cock again crew—the cockcrow which gives its form to three of the narratives (Mark alone mentions the double cockcrowing). At the same instant, either from within, or as He was being led forth, Jesus turned and looked on His erring disciple. That look—so full of pity, sorrow, reproach—could never be forgotten! Its effect was instantaneous: "Peter went out, and wept bitterly."

c) Remorse and Suicide of Judas:

Peter’s heartfelt repentance has its counterfoil in the remorse of Judas, which, bitter as it also was, cannot receive the nobler name. First, Judas sought to return the 30 shekels paid him as the price of blood ("I betrayed innocent blood"); then, when callously rebuffed by the priests and elders, he flung down the accursed money in the sanctuary, and went and hanged himself. Matthew and Ac seem to follow slightly divergent traditions as to his end and the purchase of the potter’s field. The underlying facts probably are that the priests applied the money, which they could not put into the treasury (Matthew), to the purchase of the field, where, either before or after the purchase, Judas destroyed himself (Acts: falling and bursting asunder), assigning it as a place to bury strangers in. Its connection with Judas is attested by its name, "Akeldama," "the field of blood."

The Jews might condemn, but they had no power to execute sentence of death (Joh 18:31). This power had been taken from them by the Romans, and was now vested in the Roman governor. The procurator of Judea was Pontius Pilate, a man hated by the Jews for his ruthless tyranny (see PILATE), yet, as the Gospels show him, not without a sense of right, but vacillating and weak-willed in face of mob clamor, and risk to his own interests.

5. Trial before Pilate:

(Matthew 27:2,11-31; Mark 15:1-20; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-40; 19:1-16)

His residence in Jerusalem ("Praetorium," the English Revised Version "palace") was probably Herod’s former palace (thus Schurer, G.A. Smith, etc.), on the tesselated pavement (Joh 19:13) in the semicircular front of which was placed the tribunal (bema) from which judgments were delivered. It was to this place Jesus was now brought. The events took place when it was "early" (Joh 18:28), probably between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. (compare Joh 19:14, Roman camputation).

a) The Attitude of the Accusers:

Jesus was taken within the Pretorium, but His accusers were too scrupulous about defilement at the Passover festival (Joh 18:28) to enter the building. Pilate therefore came out to hear their accusation. They would fain have had him endorse their condemnation without further inquiry, but this he would not do. They would not have it that it was a simple question of their law, yet had to justify their demand for a death sentence (Joh 18:31). They based, therefore, on the alleged revolutionary character of Christ’s teaching, His forbidding to pay tribute to Caesar (a false charge), His claim to be a king (Lu 23:2,5), to all which charges Jesus answered not a word (Mr 15:3,5). At a later stage, after Pilate, who knew very well that no mere sedition against the Roman power had called forth all this passion (witness the choice of Barabbas), had repeatedly declared that he found no crime in Jesus (Mr 15:14; Lu 23:4,14,22; Joh 18:38; 19:4,6), the real spring of their action was laid bare: "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God" (Joh 19:7). When it was seen how this declaration made Pilate only the more unwilling to yield to their rage, return was made to the political motive, now in the form of personal threat: "If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend" (Joh 19:12). This was Pilate’s weak point, and the Jews knew it. The clamor grew ever louder, "Crucify him, crucify him." Hate of Jesus and national degradation could go no farther than in the cry, "We have no king but Caesar" (Joh 19:15).

b) The Attitude of Pilate:

Pilate was from the first impressed with the innocence of Jesus, and was sincerely anxious, as his actions showed, to save Him from the terrible and ignominious death His implacable enemies were bent on inflicting upon Him. His crime was that, as Roman judge, he finally, against his own convictions, through fear of a charge of disloyalty to Caesar, yielded up to torture and death One whom he had pronounced guiltless, to gratify the brutal passions of a mob. By Pilate’s own admissions, Christ’s death was, not a punishment for any crime, but a judicial murder. First, through private examination, Pilate satisfied himself that the kingship Jesus claimed ("Thou sayest") carried with it no danger to the throne of Caesar. Jesus was a king indeed, but His kingdom was not of this world; was not, like earthly kingdoms, supported by violence; was founded on the truth, and gathered its subjects from those that received the truth (Joh 18:36,37). The indifference to the name of truth which the jaded mind of Pilate confessed ("What is truth?") could not hide from him the nobility of soul of the Holy One who stood before him. He declared publicly, "I find no fault in this man," and thereafter sought means of saving Him, at least of shifting the responsibility of His condemnation from himself to others.

(1) Jesus Sent to Herod.

Hearing in the clamor round the judgment seat that Jesus was a Galilean, and remembering that Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction in that region, was in the city, Pilate’s first expedient was to send Jesus to Herod, to be examined by him (Lu 23:6-11). This act of courtesy had the effect of making Herod and Pilate, who had been at enmity, again friends (Lu 23:12); otherwise it failed of its object. Herod was pleased enough to see One he had so often heard about—even thought in his flippancy that a miracle might be done by Him—but when Jesus, in presence of "that fox" (Lu 13:32), refused to open His mouth in answer to the accusations heaped upon Him, Herod, with his soldiers, turned the matter into jest, by clothing Jesus in gorgeous apparel, and sending Him back as a mock-king to Pilate.

(2) "Not This Man, but Barabbas."

Pilate’s next thought was to release Jesus in pursuance of a Jewish custom of setting free a prisoner at the feast, and to this end, having again protested that no fault had been found in Him, offered the people the choice between Jesus and a notorious robber and murderer called Barabbas, then in prison. Just then, as he sat on the judgment seat, a message from his wife regarding a dream she had ("Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man," Mt 27:19) must strongly have influenced his superstitious mind. Pilate could hardly have conceived that the multitude would prefer a murderer to One so good and pure; but, instigated by the priests, they perpetrated even this infamy, shouting for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus.

(3) "Ecce Homo."

Pilate’s weakness now began to reveal itself. He proposed to "chastise" (scourge) Jesus—why "chastise," if He was innocent?—then release Him. But this compromise, as was to be anticipated, only whetted the eagerness for blood, and the cries grew ever louder, "Crucify him." Pilate, however, as if yielding to the storm, did deliver Jesus to be scourged (scourging—a fearful infliction—preceded crucifixion), the cruelty being aggravated by the maltreatment of the soldiers, who, outstripping former mockeries, put on His head a crown of thorns, arrayed Him in a purple robe, and rained blows upon His bleeding face and form. It seems to have been a design of Pilate to awake pity, for once again he brought Jesus forth, and in this affecting guise, with new attestation of His innocence, presented Him to the people in the words, "Behold, the man!" (Joh 19:5). How hideous the mockery, at once to declare of such an one, "I find no crime in him," and to exhibit Him to the crowd thus shamefully abused! No pity dwelt in these hearts, however, and the shouts became still angrier, "Crucify him."

(4) A Last Appeal—Pilate Yields.

The words of the leaders, "He made himself the Son of God," spoken as a reason for putting Jesus to death (Joh 19:7), struck a new fear into the heart of Pilate. It led him again to enter the Pretorium, and inquire of this strange prisoner, unlike any he had ever seen, "Whence art thou?" Jesus was silent. "Knowest thou not," asked Pilate, "that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee?" Jesus answered only that he, Pilate, had no power over Him at all save what was given him of God; the greater therefore was the crime of those who had subjected Him to this abuse of Divinely given power. Again Pilate went out and sought to release Him, but was met by the fierce cries that foreboded complaint to Caesar (Joh 19:12). A tumult seemed imminent, and Pilate succumbed. Here probably (though possibly after the choice of Barabbas) is to be placed the washing of his hands by Pilate—a vain disclaiming of his responsibility—recorded in Mt 27:24, and the awful answer of the people, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (27:25). Pilate now ascends the judgment seat, and, fully conscious of the iniquity of his procedure, pronounces the formal sentence which dooms Jesus to the cross. The trial over, Jesus is led again into the Pretorium, where the cruel mockery of the soldiers is resumed in intensified form. The Holy One, thorn-crowned, clad in purple, a reed thrust into His hand, is placed at the mercy of the whole band, who bow the knee in ridicule before Him ("Hail, King of the Jews"), spit upon Him in contempt, smite Him on the head with the reed (Matthew, Mark). Then, stripped of the robe, His own garments are put on Him, in preparation for the end.

c) The Attitude of Jesus:

In all this hideous scene of cruelty, injustice, and undeserved suffering, the conspicuous feature in the bearing of Jesus is the absolute calmness, dignity and meekness with which He endures the heaviest wrongs and insults put upon Him. The picture in Isa 53:7,8 is startling in its fidelity: "When he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away," etc. There is no return of the perturbation of Gethsemane. As if the strength won there had raised Him into a peace that nothing could shake, He passed through the frightful physical exhaustion, mental strain, agony of scourging, suffering from wounds and blows, of that terrible night and morning, with unbroken fortitude and unembittered spirit. Not a word of complaint passes His lips; He makes no reply to accusations; when reviled, He reviles not again; He takes all with submission, as part of the cup the Father has given Him to drink. It is a spectacle to move the stoniest heart. Well to remember that it is the world’s sin, in which all share, that mingled the bitter draught!

III. The Crucifixion and Burial.

1. The Crucifixion:

(Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-37)

Crucifixion was the form of punishment reserved by the Romans for slaves, foreigners and the vilest criminals, and could not be inflicted on a Roman citizen. With its prolonged and excruciating torture, it was the most agonizing and ignominious death which the cruelty of a cruel age could devise. Jewish law knew nothing of it (the ‘hanging on a tree’ of De 21:22,23, was after death; compare Ga 3:13), yet to it the Jewish leaders hounded Pilate on to doom their Messiah. The cross was no doubt of the usual Roman shape (see CROSS). The site of Golgotha, "the place of a skull" (in Luke "Calvary," the Latinized form), is quite uncertain. It may have been a slight mound resembling a skull (thus Meyer, Luthardt, Godet, etc.), but this is not known. It is only plain that it was outside the wall, in the immediate vicinity of the city (see note below on sepulcher). The time of the crucifixion was about 9 a.m. (Mr 15:25). The day (Friday) was the "preparation" for the Sabbath of the Passover week (Matthew, Mark, Luke; compare Joh 19:14,31).

a) On the Way:

It was part of the torment of the victim of this horrible sentence that he had to bear his own cross (according to some only the patibulum, or transverse beam) to the place of execution. As Jesus, staggering, possibly fainting, under this burden, passed out of the gate, a stranger coming from the country, Simon, a man of Cyrene, was laid hold of, and compelled to carry the cross (such an one would not be punctilious about rabbinical rules of travel, especially as it was not the regular Sabbath). Jesus, however, was not wholly unpitied. In the crowd following Him were some women of Jerusalem, who bewailed and lamented Him. The Lord, turning, bade these weep, not for Him, but for themselves and for their children. "If they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Lu 23:27-31).

b) Between the Thieves—the Superscription—the Seamless Robe:

Golgotha being reached, the crucifixion at once took place under the care of a centurion and a quaternion of soldiers. With ruthless blows, hands and feet were nailed to the wood, then the cross was reared (the perpendicular part may, as some think, have first been placed in position). As if to emphasize, from Pilate’s point of view, the irony of the proceedings, two robbers were crucified with Jesus, on right and left, an undesigned fulfillment of prophecy (Isa 53:12). It was doubtless when being raised upon the cross that Jesus uttered the touching prayer—His 1st word on the cross (its genuineness need not be questioned, though some ancient manuscripts omit)—"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke). Above His head, according to custom, was placed a tablet with His accusation, written in three languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The chief priests took offense at the form, "This is the King of the Jews," and wished the words changed to, "He said, I am King," etc., but Pilate curtly dismissed their complaint: "What I have written I have written" (John). Whether Jesus still wore the crown of thorns is doubtful. The garments of the Crucified were divided among the soldiers, but for His inner garment, woven without seam, they cast lots (compare Ps 22:18). A draught of wine mingled with an opiate (gall or myrrh), intended to dull the senses, was offered, but refused.

c) The Mocking—the Penitent Thief—Jesus and His Mother:

The triumph of Christ’s enemies now seemed complete, and their glee was correspondingly unrestrained. Their victim’s helplessness was to them a disproof of His claims. Railing, and wagging their heads, they taunted Him, "If thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross"; "He saved others; himself he cannot save." At first the robbers who were crucified with Him (possibly only one) joined in this reproach, but ere long there was a change. The breast of one of the malefactors opened to the impression of the holiness and meekness of Jesus, and faith took the place of scorn. He rebuked his neighbor for reviling One who had "done nothing amiss"; then, addressing Jesus, he prayed: "Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom." The reply of Jesus—His 2nd word on the cross—surpassed what even the penitent in these strange circumstances could have anticipated "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise" (Luke). A not less touching incident followed—perhaps preceded—this rescue of a soul in its last extremity. Standing near the cross was a group of holy women, one of them the mother of Jesus Himself (Joh 19:25 Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas—some identify the two latter—Mary Magdalene). Mary, whose anguish of spirit may be imagined, was supported by the disciple John. Beholding them—His 3rd word from the cross—Jesus tenderly commended His mother to the care of John; to Mary, "Woman, behold, thy son"; to John, "Beho1d, thy mother." From that time Mary dwelt with John.

Three hours passed, and at noon mocking was hushed in presence of a startling natural change. The sun’s light failed (Luke), and a deep darkness, lasting for 3 hours, settled over the land. The darkness was preternatural in its time and occasion, whatever natural agencies may have been concerned in it. The earthquake a little later (Matthew) would be due to the same causes. It was as if Nature veiled itself, and shuddered at the enormity of the crime which was being perpetrated.

d) The Great Darkness—the Cry of Desertion:

But the outer gloom was only the symbol of a yet more awful darkness that, toward the close of this period, overspread the soul of Jesus Himself. Who shall fathom the depths of agony that lay in that awful cry—the 4th from the cross—that burst loudly from the lips of Jesus, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani"—"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me" (or, "Why didst thou forsake me?")—words borrowed from Ps 22:1! It was before remarked that death was not a natural event to Jesus, but ever had in it to His mind its significance as a judgment of God on sin. Here it was not simply death that He experienced in its most cruel form, but death bereft of the sensible comforts of the Father’s presence. What explanation of that mystery can be found which does not take into account with Isa 53 (compare Joh 1:29) His character as Sin-Bearer, even as the unbroken trust with which in His loneliness He clings to God ("My God") may be felt to have in it the element of atonement? On this, however, the present is not the place to dwell.

e) Last Words and Death of Jesus:

The end was now very near. The victim of crucifixion sometimes lingered on in his agony for days; but the unexampled strain of body and mind which Jesus had undergone since the preceding day brought an earlier termination to His sufferings. Light was returning, and with it peace; and in the consciousness that all things were now finished (Joh 19:28), Jesus spoke again—the 5th word—"I thirst" (John). A sponge filled with vinegar was raised on a reed to His lips, while some who had heard His earlier words ("Eli, Eli," etc.), and thought He called for Elijah, said, "Let us see whether Elijah cometh to save him" (Matthew). With a last effort, Jesus cried aloud—6th and memorable word—"It is finished," then, in a final utterance—the 7th—commended His spirit to God: "Father into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke). Following on this word, bowing His head, He surrendered Himself to death. It will be seen that of the 7 words spoken from the cross, 3 are preserved by Luke alone (1st, 2nd, 7th), 3 by John alone (3rd, 5th, 6th), while the 4th cry ("Eli, Eli," etc.) occurs only in the first 2 evangelists (Matthew and Mark, however, speak of Jesus "crying with a loud voice" at the close).

f) The Spear Thrust—Earthquake and Rending of the Veil:

Jesus had died; the malefactors still lived. It was now 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and it was desired that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the approaching Sabbath. Permission was therefore obtained from Pilate for the soldiers to break the legs of the crucified (crurifragium), and so hasten death. When it was discovered that Jesus was already dead, a soldier, possibly to make sure, pierced His side with a spear, and John, who was present, notices as a special fact that "there came out blood and water" (19:34). Whether this means, as Stroud and others have contended, that Jesus literally died of rupture of the heart, or what other physiological explanation may be given of the phenomenon, to which the apostle elsewhere attaches a symbolical significance (1 Joh 5:6), need not be here discussed (see BLOOD AND WATER). This, however, was not the only startling and symbolically significant fact attending the death of Jesus. A great darkness had preluded the death; now, at the hour of His termination, the veil of the temple (i.e. of the inner shrine) was rent from top to bottom—surely a sign that the way into the holiest of all was now opened for mankind (Heb 9:8,12)—and a great earthquake shook the city and rent the rocks. Mt connects with this the statement that from the tombs thus opened "many bodies of the saints .... were raised; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many" (27:52,53). There is nothing in itself improbable, though none of the other evangelists mention it, in such an early demonstration being given of what the Lord’s death and resurrection meant for believers. In other ways the power of the cross was revealed. A dying robber had been won to penitence; now the centurion who commanded the soldiers was brought to the avowal, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matthew, Mark; in Luke, "a righteous man"). The mood of the crowd, too, was changed since the morning; they "returned, smiting their breasts" (Lu 23:48). "Afar off," speechless with sorrow, stood the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, with other friends and disciples. The evangelists name Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Joses, Salome (Mark), and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward (Luke).

2. The Burial:

(Matthew 27:57-66; compare 28:11-15; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)

Jesus had conquered hearts on His cross; now His death reveals friends from the wealthier classes, hitherto kept back by fear (Joh 19:38,39), who charge themselves with His honorable burial. One was Joseph of Arimathea, a just man, "looking for the kingdom of God," of whom the interesting fact is recorded that, though a member of the Sanhedrin, "he had not consented to their counsel and deed" (Luke); the other was Nicodemus, he who came to Jesus by night (Joh 3:1,2; 19:39), mentioned again only in Joh 7:50-52, where, also as a member of the Sanhedrin, he puts in a word for Jesus.

a) The New Tomb:

Joseph of Arimathea takes the lead. "Having dared," as Mr says (15:43, Gr), he begged the body of Jesus from Pilate, and having obtained it, bought linen cloth wherein to wrap it, and reverently buried it in a new rock-tomb of his own (Matthew, Mark), "where never man had yet lain" (Luke). John furnishes the further particulars that the tomb was in a "garden," near where Jesus was crucified (19:41,42). He tells also of the munificence of Nicodemus, who brought as much as 100 pounds (about 75 lbs. avoir.) of spices—"a mixture of myrrh and aloes" (19:39), with which to enwrap the body of Jesus. This is not to be thought of as an "anointing": rather, the spices formed a powder strewn between the folds of the linen bandages (compare Luthardt, Commentary on Joh 19:40). The body, thus prepared, was then placed in the tomb, and a great stone rolled to tile entrance. The burial was of necessity a very hurried one, which the holy women who witnessed it—Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses are specially mentioned (Matthew, Mark)—purposed to supplement by an anointing when the Sabbath was past (compare Lu 23:56).

b) The Guard of Soldiers:

Though Jesus was dead, the chief priests and Pharisees were far from easy in their minds about Him. Mysterious words of His had been quoted about His building of the temple in three days; possibly Judas had told something. about His sayings regarding His death and rising again on the 3rd day; in any case, His body was in the hands of His disciples, and they might remove it, and create the persuasion that He had risen. With this plea they went to Pilate, and asked from him a watch of soldiers to guard the tomb. To make assurance doubly sure, they sealed the tomb with the official seal. The result of their efforts was only, under Providence, to provide new evidence of the reality of the resurrection!

The uncertainty attaching to the site of Golgotha attaches also to the site of Joseph’s rock-tomb. Opinion is about equally divided in favor of, and against, the traditional site, where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now stands. A principal ground of uncertainty is whether that site originally lay within or without the second wall of the city (compare Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, 457 ff; G.A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 576; a good conspectus of the different opinions, with the authorities, is given in Andrews, Part VII).


The Resurrection a Fundamental Fact:

The resurrection of Jesus, with its completion in the ascension, setting the seal of the Father’s acceptance on His finished work on earth, and marking the decisive change from His state of humiliation to that of exaltation, may be called in a true sense the corner stone of Christianity (compare 1Co 15:14,17). It was on the preaching of Christ crucified and risen that the Christian church was founded (e.g. Ac 2:32-36; 1Co 15:3,4). Professor Harnack would distinguish between "the Easter faith" (that Jesus lives with God) and "the Easter message," but the church never had any Easter faith apart from the Easter message. The subversion of the fact of the resurrection is therefore a first task to which unbelief addresses itself. The modern spirit rules it out a priori as miraculous. The historical fact is denied, and innumerable theories (imposture, theories of swoon, of hallucination, mythical theories, spiritualistic theories, etc.) are invented to explain the belief. None of these theories can stand calm examination (see the writer’s work, The Resurrection of Jesus). The objections are but small dust of the balance compared with the strength of the evidence for the fact. From the standpoint of faith, the resurrection of Jesus is the most credible of events. If Jesus was indeed such an One as the gospel history declares Him to be, it was impossible that death should hold Him (Ac 2:24). The resurrection, in turn, confirms His claim to be the Son of God (Ro 1:4).

1. The Resurrection:

(Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; 21; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

With the narratives of the resurrection are here included as inseparably connected, those of the appearances of Jesus in Jerusalem and Galilee. The accounts will show that, while the body of Jesus was a true body, identical with that which suffered on the cross (it could be seen, touched, handled), it exhibited attributes which showed that Jesus had entered, even bodily, on a new phase of existence, in which some at least of the ordinary limitations of body were transcended. Its condition in the interval between the resurrection and the ascension was an intermediate one—no longer simply natural, yet not fully entered into the state of glorification. "I am not yet ascended .... I ascend" (Joh 20:17); in these two parts of the one saying the mystery of the resurrection body is comprised.

a) The Easter Morning—the Open Tomb:

The main facts in the resurrection narratives stand out clearly. "According to all the Gospels," the arch-skeptic Strauss concedes, "Jesus, after having been buried on the Friday evening, and lain during the Sabbath in the grave, came out of it restored to life at daybreak on Sunday" (New Life of Jesus, I, 397, English translations). Discrepancies are alleged in detail as to the time, number, and names of the women, number of angels, etc.; but most of these vanish on careful examination. The Synoptics group their material, while Joh gives a more detailed account of particular events.

(1) The Angel and the Keepers.

No eye beheld the actual resurrection, which took place in the early morning, while it was still dark. Matthew records that there was "a great earthquake," and tells of the descent of an angel of the Lord, who rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. Before his dazzling aspect the keepers became as dead men, and afterward fled. The chief priests bribed them to conceal the facts, and say the body had been stolen (Mt 28:2-4,11-15).

(2) Visit of the Women.

The first intimation of the resurrection to the disciples was the discovery of the empty tomb by the women who had come at early dawn (Mt 28:1; Mr 16:2; Lu 24:1; Joh 20:1) with spices, prepared to anoint the body of Jesus (Mr 16:1; compare Lu 23:56). Apparently ignorant of the guard, the women were concerned on their way as to who should roll away the stone from the door of the tomb (Mr 16:3), and were much surprised to find the stone rolled away, and the tomb open. There is no need for supposing that the women mentioned all came together. It is much more probable that they came in different groups or companies—perhaps Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, or these with Salome, first (Matthew, Mark; compare the "we" of Joh 20:2); then Joanna and other members of the Galilean band (Luke). (On the appearance of Jesus to Mary, see below.)

(3) The Angelic Message.

As the women stood, perplexed and affrighted, at the tomb, they received a vision of angels (Matthew and Mark speak only of one angel; Luke and John mention two; all allude to the dazzling brightness), who announced to them that Jesus had risen ("He is not here; for he is risen; .... come, see the place where the Lord lay"), and bade them tell His disciples that He went before them to Galilee, where they should see Him (Matthew, Mark; Luke, who does not record the Galilean appearances, omits this part, and recalls the words spoken by Jesus in Galilee, concerning His death and resurrection; compare Mt 16:21). The women departed with "trembling and astonishment" (Mark), yet "with great joy" (Matthew). Here the original Mr breaks off (Mr 16:8), the remaining verses being an appendix. But it is granted that Mark must originally have contained an account of the report to the disciples, and of an appearance of Jesus in Galilee.

b) Visit of Peter and John—Appearance to Mary:

(John; compare Mark 16:9,10; Luke 24:12,24)

The narrative in John enlarges in important respects those of the Synoptics. From it we learn that Mary Magdalene (no companion is named, but one at least is implied in the "we" of 20:2), concluding from the empty tomb that the body of Jesus had been removed, at once ran to carry the news to Peter and John ("They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him"). These apostles lost no time in hastening to the spot. John, who arrived first, stooping down, saw the linen cloths lying, while Peter, entering, beheld also the napkin for the head rolled up in a place by itself. After John likewise had entered ("He saw, and believed"), they returned to their home. Meanwhile Mary had come back disconsolate to the tomb, where, looking in, she, like the other women, had a vision of two angels. It was then that Jesus addressed her, "Why weepest thou?" At first she thought it was the gardener, but on Jesus tenderly naming her, "Mary," she recognized who it was, and, with the exclamation, "Rabboni" ("Teacher"), would have clasped Him, but He forbade: "Touch me not," etc. (Joh 20:17, margin "Take not hold on me"), i.e. "Do not wait, but hasten to tell my disciples that I am risen, and ascend to my Father" (the ascension-life had already begun, altering earlier relations).

Report to the Disciples—Incredulity.

The appearance of Jesus to the other women (Mt 28:9,10) is referred to below. It is probable that, on the way back, Mary Magdalene rejoined her sisters, and that the errand to the disciples—or such of them as could be found—was undertaken together. Their report was received with incredulity (Lu 24:11; compare Mr 16:11). The visit of Peter referred to in Lu 24:12 is doubtless that recorded more precisely in John.

c) Other Easter-Day Appearances (Emmaus, Jerusalem):

Ten appearances of Jesus altogether after His resurrection are recorded, or are referred to; of these five were on the day of resurrection. They are the following:

(1) The first is the appearance to Mary Magdalene above described.

(2) The second is an appearance to the women as they returned from the tomb, recorded in Mt 28:9,10. Jesus met them, saying, "All hail," and as they took hold of His feet and worshipped Him, He renewed the commission they had received for the disciples. Some regard this as only a generalization of the appearance to Mary Magdalene, but it seems distinct.

(3) An appearance to Peter, attested by both Lu 24:34 and Paul (1Co 15:5). This must have been early in the day, probably soon after Peter’s visit to the tomb. No particulars are given of this interview, so marked an act of grace of the risen Lord to His repentant apostle. The news of it occasioned much excitement among the disciples (Lu 24:34).

(4) The fourth was an appearance to two disciples on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus—a village about two hours distant (Lu 24:12-35; Mr 16:12,13). They were conversing on the sad events of the last few days, and on the strange tidings of the women’s vision of angels, when Jesus overtook them, and entered into conversation with them. At first they did not recognize Him—a token, as in Mary’s case, of change in His appearance—though their hearts burned within them as He opened to them the Scriptures about Christ’s sufferings and glory. As the day was closing, Jesus abode with them to the evening meal; then, as He blessed and brake the bread, "Their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight" (Lu 24:30,31). They hastily rose, and returned to the company of disciples at Jerusalem. According to Mr 16:13, their testimony, like that of the women, was not at first believed.

(5) The fifth appearance was that to "the eleven," with others, in the evening—an appearance recorded by Luke (24:36 ff), and John (20:19-23), and alluded to by Paul (1Co 15:5). The disciples from Emmaus had just come in, and found the company thrilling with excitement at the news that the Lord had appeared to Simon (Luke). The doors were closed for fear of the Jews, when suddenly Jesus appeared in their midst with the salutation, "Peace be unto you" (Luke, John; doubt is unnecessarily cast on Lu 24:36,40, by their absence from some Western texts). The disciples were affrighted; they thought they had seen a spirit (Luke); "disbelieved for joy" (Lu 24:41). To remove their fears, Jesus showed them His hands and His feet (in Jn, His side), and ate before them (Luke). He then breathed on them, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit," and renewed the commission formerly given to remit and retain sins (John; compare Mt 18:17,18). The breathing was anticipative of the later affusion of the Spirit at Pentecost (compare Joh 7:39; Ac 2$); the authority delegated depends for its validity on the possession of that Spirit, and its exercise according to the mind of Christ (compare e.g. 1Co 5:3). The incident strikingly illustrates at once the reality of Christ’s risen body, and the changed conditions under which that body now existed.

d) The Second Appearance to the Eleven—the Doubt of Thomas:

Eight days after this first appearance—i.e. the next Sunday evening—a second appearance of Jesus to the apostles took place in the same chamber and under like conditions ("the doors being shut"). The peculiar feature of this second meeting was the removal of the doubt of Thomas who, it is related, had not been present on the former occasion. Thomas, devoted (compare Joh 11:16), but of naturally questioning temperament (Joh 14:5), refused to believe on the mere report of others that the Lord had risen, and demanded indubitable sensible evidence for himself. Jesus, at the second appearance, after salutation as before, graciously gave the doubting apostle the evidence he asked: "Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands," etc. (Joh 20:27), though, as the event proved, the sign was not needed. The faith and love of the erst-while doubter leaped forth at once in adoring confession: "My Lord and my God." It was well; but Jesus reminded him that the highest faith is not that which waits on the evidence of sense ("Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed," Joh 20:29).

e) The Galilean Appearances:

The scene now shifts for the time to Galilee. Jesus had appointed to meet with His disciples in Galilee (Mt 26:32; Mr 16:7; compare Mr 14:28). Prior, however, to this meeting—that recorded in Mt 28:16-20, probably to be identified with the appearance "to above five hundred brethren at once" mentioned by Paul (1Co 15:6)—there is another appearance of Jesus to seven disciples at the Lake of Galilee, of which the story is preserved in Joh 21:1-23.

(1) At the Sea of Tiberias—the Draught of Fishes—Peter’s Restoration.

The chapter which narrates this appearance of Jesus at the Lake of Galilee ("Sea of Tiberias") is a supplement to the Gospel, but is so evidently Johannine in character that it may safely be accepted as from the pen of the beloved disciple (thus Lightfoot, Meyer, Godet, Alford, etc.). The appearance itself is described as the third to the disciples (Joh 21:14), i.e. the third to the apostles collectively, and in Jn’s record seven disciples are stated to have been present, of whom five are named—Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel (probably to be identified with Bartholomew), and the sons of Zebedee, James and John. The disciples had spent the night in fishing without result. In the morning Jesus—yet unrecognized—appeared on the beach, and bade them cast down their net on the right side of the boat. The draught of fishes which they took revealed to John the presence of the Master. "It is the Lord," he said to Peter, who at once flung himself into the lake to go to Jesus. On landing, the disciples found a fire of coals, with fish placed on it, and bread; and Jesus Himself, after more fish had been brought, distributed the food, and, it seems implied, Himself shared in the meal. Still a certain awe—another indication of a mysterious change in Christ’s appearance—restrained the disciples from asking openly, "Who art thou?" (Joh 21:12). It was not long, however ("when they had broken their fast"), before Jesus sufficiently disclosed Himself in the touching episode of the restoration of Peter (the three-fold question, "Lovest thou me?" answering to the three-fold denial, met by Peter’s heartfelt, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee," with the words of reinstatement, "Feed my lambs," "Feed my sheep"). In another way, Jesus foretold that Peter would have the opportunity of taking back his denial in the death by which he should glorify God (Joh 21:18,19; tradition says he was crucified head-downward). Curious inquiries were set aside, and attention recalled to duty, "Follow thou me" (Joh 21:22).

(2) On the Mountain—the Great Commission—Baptism.

Though only the eleven apostles are named in Matthew’s account (Mt 28:16), the fact of an ‘appointment’ for a definite time and place ("the mountain"), and the terms in which the message was given to the "disciples," suggests a collective gathering such as is implied in Paul’s "above five hundred brethren at once" (1Co 15:6). The company being assembled, Jesus appeared; still, at first, with that element of mystery in His appearance, which led some to doubt (Mt 28:17). Such doubt would speedily vanish when the Lord, announcing Himself as clothed with all authority in heaven and earth, gave to the apostles the supreme commission to "make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:18-20; compare Mr 16:15, "Go ye into all tho world" etc.). Discipleship was to be shown by baptism "into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (one name, yet threefold), and was to be followed by instruction in Christ’s commands. Behind the commission, world-wide in its scope, and binding on every age, stands the word of never-failing encouragement, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Doubts of the genuineness of these august utterances go as a rule with doubt of the resurrection itself.

It will be noticed that the Lord’s Supper and Baptism are the only sacraments instituted by Jesus in His church.

f) Appearance to James:

Paul records, as subsequent to the above, an appearance of Jesus to James, known as "the Lord’s brother" (1Co 15:7; compare Ga 1:19). No particulars are given of this appearance, which may have occurred either in Galilee or Jerusalem. James, so far as known, was not a believer in Jesus before the crucifixion (compare Joh 7:3); after the ascension he and the other brethren of Jesus are found in the company of the disciples (Ac 1:14), and he became afterward a chief "pillar" of the church at Jerusalem (Ga 1:19; 2:9). This appearance may have marked the turning-point.

g) The Last Meeting:

The final appearance of Jesus to the apostles (1Co 15:7) is that which Luke in the closing verses of his Gospel (Lu 24:44-53), and in Ac 1:3-12, brings into direct relation with the ascension. In the Gospel Luke proceeds without a break from the first appearance of Jesus to "the eleven" to His last words about "the promise of my Father"; but Ac 1 shows that a period of 40 days really elapsed during which Jesus repeatedly "appeared" to those whom He had chosen. This last meeting of Jesus with His apostles was mainly occupied with the Lord’s exposition of the prophetic Scriptures (Lu 24:44-46), with renewed commands to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name, "beginning from Jerusalem" (Lu 24:47,48; compare Ac 1:8), and with the injunction to tarry in Jerusalem till the Spirit should be given (Lu 24:49; compare Ac 1:4,5). Then He led them forth to Olivet, "over against Bethany," and, while blessing them, "was carried up into heaven" (Lu 24:50,51; compare Ac 1:10,12).

2. The Ascension:

(Luke 24:50-53; Ac 1:6-14; compare Mark 16:19)

Jesus had declared, "I ascend unto my Father" (Joh 20:17), and Luke in Ac 1 narrates the circumstances of that departure. Jesus might simply have "vanished" from the sight of His disciples, as on previous occasions, but it was His will to leave them in a way which would visibly mark the final close of His association with them. They are found, as in the Gospel, "assembled" with Him at Jerusalem, where His final instructions are given. Then the scene insensibly changes to Olivet, where the ascension is located (Ac 1:12). The disciples inquire regarding the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (even yet their minds are held in these temporal conceptions), but Jesus tells them that it is not for them to know times and seasons, which the Father had set within His own authority (Ac 1:7). Far more important was it for them to know that within the next days they should receive power from the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Him to the uttermost part of the earth (Ac 1:8). Even as He spake, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight (Ac 1:9). Then, as the apostles stood gazing upward, two heavenly messengers appeared, who comforted them with the assurance that in like manner as they had seen Jesus ascend into heaven, so also would He come again. For that return the church still prays and waits (compare Re 22:20).

See, further, ASCENSION.

Retracing their steps to Jerusalem, the apostles joined the larger company of disciples in the "upper room" where their meetings seem to have been habitually held, and there, with one accord, to the number of about 120 (Ac 1:15), they all continued steadfastly in prayer till "the promise of the Father" (Lu 24:49; Ac 1:4) was, at Pentecost, bestowed upon them.



1. After the Ascension:

The earthly life of Jesus is finished. With His resurrection and ascension a new age begins. Yet the work of Christ continues. As Luke expressively phrases it in Ac 1:1,2, the Gospels are but the records of "all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up." It is beyond the scope of this article to trace the succeeding developments of Christ’s activity through His church and by His Spirit; in order, however, to bring the subject to a proper close, it is necessary to glance, even if briefly, at the light thrown back by the Spirit’s teachings, after the ascension, on the significance of the earthly life itself, and at the enlargement of the apostles’ conceptions about Christ, consequent on this, as seen in the Epistles and the Apocalypse.

2. Revelation through the Spirit:

It was the promise of Jesus that, after His departure, the Spirit would be given to His disciples, to teach them all things, and bring to their remembrance all that He had said to them (Joh 14:26). It was not a new revelation they were to receive, but illumination and guidance of their minds into the meaning of what they had received already (Joh 16:13-15). This promise of the Spirit was fulfilled at Pentecost (Ac 2). Only a few personal manifestations of Jesus (Ac 7:55,56; 22:17,18; 23:11) are recorded after that event—the two chief being the appearance to Paul on the way to Damascus (1Co 15:8; compare Ac 9:3 , etc.), and the appearance in vision to John in Patmos (Re 1:10 ). The rest was internal revelation (compare Ga 1:12,16; Eph 1:17; 3:3-5). The immense advance in enlargement and clearness of view—aided, no doubt, by Christ’s parting instructions (Lu 24:44-48; Ac 1:2)—is already apparent in Peter’s discourses at Pentecost; but it is not to be supposed that much room was not left for after-growth in knowledge, and deepened insight into the connection of truths. Peter, e.g., had to be instructed as to the admission of the Gentiles (Ac 10:11); the apostles had much gradually to learn as to the relations of the law (compare Ac 15; 21:20 ff; Ga 2, etc.); Paul received revelations vastly widening the doctrinal horizon; both John and Paul show progressive apprehension in the truth about Christ.

3. Gospels and Epistles:

It is therefore a question of much interest how the apostolic conceptions thus gained stand related to the picture of Jesus we have been studying in the Gospels. It is the contention of the so-called "historical" (anti-supernaturalistic) school of the day that the two pictures do not correspond. The transcendental Christ of Paul and John has little in common, it is affirmed, with the Man of Nazareth of the Synoptic Gospels. Theories of the "origins of Christianity" are concocted proceeding on this assumption (compare Pfieiderer, Weizsacker, Bousset, Wernle, etc.). Such speculations ignore the first conditions of the problem in not accepting the self-testimony of Jesus as to who He was, and the ends of His mission into the world. When Jesus is taken at His own valuation, and the great fact of His resurrection is admitted, the alleged contradictions between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith" largely disappear.

4. Fact of Christ’s Lordship:

It is forgotten how great a change in the center of gravity in the conception of Christ’s person and work was necessarily involved in the facts of Christ’s death, resurrection and exaltation to the right hand of power. The life is not ignored—far from it. Its influence breathes in every page, e.g. of Paul’s epistles. But the weakness, the limitations, the self-suppression—what Paul in Php 2:7 calls the "emptying"—of that earthly life have now been left behind; the rejected and crucified One has now been vindicated, exalted, has entered into His glory. This is the burden of Peter’s first address at Pentecost: "God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Ac 2:36). Could anything look quite the same after that? The change is seen in the growing substitution of the name "Christ" for "Jesus" (see at beginning of article), and in the habitual speaking of Jesus as "Lord."

5. Significance of Christ’s Person:

With belief in the lordship of Jesus went necessarily an enlarged conception of the significance of His person. The elements were all there in what the disciples had seen and known of Jesus while on earth (Joh 1:14; 1 Joh 1:1-3), but His exaltation not only threw back light upon His claims while on earth—confirmed, interpreted, completed them—but likewise showed the ultimate ground of these claims in the full Divine dignity of His person. He who was raised to the throne of Divine dominion; who was worshipped with honors due to God only; who was joined, with Father and with Holy Spirit as, coordinately, the source of grace and blessing, must in the fullest sense be Divine. There is not such a thing as honorary Godhead. In this is already contained in substance everything taught about Jesus in the epistles: His preexistence (the Lord’s own words had suggested this, Joh 8:58; 17:5, etc.), His share in Divine attributes (eternity, etc.), in Divine works (creation, etc., 1Co 8:6; Col 1:16,17; Heb 1:2; Re 1:8; 3:14, etc.), in Divine worship (Php 2:9-11; Re 5:11,12, etc.), in Divine names and titles (Heb 1:8, etc.). It is an extension of the same conception when Jesus is represented as the end of creation—the "Head" in whom all things are finally to be summed up (Eph 1:10; compare Heb 2:6-9). These high views of the person of Christ in the Epistles are everywhere assumed to be the possession of the readers.

Jesus had furnished His disciples with the means of understanding His death as a necessity of His Messianic vocation, endured for the salvation of the world; but it was the resurrection and exaltation which shed light on the utmost meaning of this also. Jesus died, but it was for sins. He was a propitiation for the sin of the world (Ro 3:25; 1 Joh 2:2; 4:10). He was ‘made sin’ for us (2Co 5:21).

6. Significance of the Cross and Resurrection:

The strain of Isa 53 runs through the New Testament teaching on this theme (compare 1Pe 1:19; 2:22-25, etc.). Jesus’ own word "ransom" is reproduced by Paul (1Ti 2:6). The song of the redeemed is, "Thou didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe," etc. (Re 5:9). Is it wonderful, in view of this, that in the apostolic writings—not in Paul only, but in Pet, in Jn, in He, and Rev, equally—the cross should assume the decisive importance it does? Paul only works out more fully in relation to the law and the sinner’s justification a truth shared by all. He himself declares it to be the common doctrine of the churches (1Co 15:3,4).

7. Hope of the Advent:

The newer tendency is to read an apocalyptic character into nearly all the teaching of Jesus (compare Schweitzer, Quest of the Historical Jesus). This is an exaggeration, but that Jesus taught His disciples to look for His coming again, and connected with that coming the perfection of His kingdom, is plain to every reader of the Gospels. It will not be denied that the apostolic church retained this feature of the teaching of Jesus. In accordance with the promise in Ac 1:11, it looked for the glorious reappearing of its Lord. The Epistles are full of this hope. Even Joh gives it prominence (1Joh 2:28; 3:2). In looking for the parousia as something immediately at hand, the early believers went even beyond what had been revealed, and Paul had to rebuke harmful tendencies in this direction (2Th 2). The hope might be cherished that the coming would not long be delayed, but in face of the express declarations of Jesus that no one, not the angels, not even the Son, knew of that day and hour (Mt 24:36; Mr 13:32), and that the Father had set these things in His own authority (Ac 1:7; compare also such intimations as in Mt 13:30; 24:14; 25:19; 28:19; Lu 19:11, etc.), none could affirm this with certainty. Time has proved—proved it even in the apostolic age (2Pe 3:3,4)—that the Advent was not so near as many thought. In part, perhaps, the church itself may be to blame for the delay. Still to faith the Advent remains the great fixed event of the future, the event which overshadows all others—in that sense is ever near—the polestar of the church’s confidence that righteousness shall triumph, the dead shall be raised, sin shall be judged and the kingdom of God shall come.


The literature on the life and teaching of Jesus is so voluminous, and represents such diverse standpoints, that it would be unprofitable to furnish an extended catalogue of it. It may be seen prefixed to any of the larger books. On the skeptical and rationalistic side the best account of the literature will be found in Schweitzer’s book, From Reimarus to Wrede (English translation, Quest of the Historical Jesus). Of modern believing works may be specially named those of Lange, Weiss, Ellicott Edersheim, Farrar, D. Smith. Dr. Sanday’s book, The Life of Christ in Recent Research, surveys a large part of the field, and is preparatory to an extended Life from Dr. Sanday’s own pen. His article in HDB has justly attracted much attention. Schurer’s Hist of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (ET, 5 volumes; a new German edition has been published) is the best authority on the external conditions. The works on New Testament Biblical theology (Reuss, Weiss, Schmid, Stevens, etc.) deal with the teaching of Jesus; see also Wendt, The Teaching of Jesus (ET). Works and articles on the Chronology, on Harmony of the Gospels, on geography and topography (compare especially Stanley, G.A. Smith) are legion. A good, comprehensive book on these topics is Andrews, Life of our Lord (revised edition). The present writer has published works on The Virgin Birth of Christ and The Resurrection of Jesus. On the relations of gospel and epistle, see J. Denney, Jesus and the Gospel.


James Orr


1. Jewish and Roman Law

2. Difficulties of the Subject

3. Illustrations of Difficulties


1. Preparatory Steps

2. The Arrest in the Garden

3. Taken to the City


1. The Jewish Law

2. The Mishna

3. Criminal Trials

4. The Trial of Jesus

5. The Preliminary Examination

6. The Night Trial

7. False Witnesses

8. A Browbeating Judge

9. The Morning Session

10. Powers of the Sanhedrin

11. Condemnation for Blasphemy

12. Summary


1. Taken before Pilate

2. Roman Law and Procedure

3. Full Trial Not Desired

4. Final Accusation

5. Examination, Defence and Acquittal

6. Fresh Accusations

7. Reference to Herod

8. Jesus or Barabbas

9. Behold the Man!

10. Pilate Succumbs to Threats

11. Pilate Washes His Hands

12. The Sentence

13. Review

This subject is of special interest, not only on account of its inherent importance, but more particularly on account of its immediately preceding, and leading directly up to what is the greatest tragedy in human history, the crucifixion of our Lord. It has also the added interest of being the only proceeding on record in which the two great legal systems of antiquity, the Jewish and the Roman, which have most largely influenced modern legislation and jurisprudence, each played a most important part.

1. Jewish and Roman Law:

The coexistence of these two systems in Judea, and their joint action in bringing about the tremendous results in question, were made possible by the generous policy pursued by Rome in allowing conquered nations to retain their ancient laws, institutions and usages, in so far as they were compatible with Roman sovereignty and supremacy. Not only so, but, in a large degree, they permitted these laws to be administered by the officials of the subject peoples. This privilege was not granted absolutely, but was permitted only so long as it was not abused. It might be withdrawn at any time, and the instances in which this was, done were by no means rare.

Of the matters considered in this article, the arrest of Jesus and the proceedings before Annas, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin took place professedly under Jewish law; the proceedings before Pilate and the reference to Herod, under Roman law.

2. Difficulties of the Subject:

It is very difficult to construct from the materials in the four Gospels a satisfactory continuous record of the arrest, and of what may be called the twofold trial of Jesus. The Gospels were written from different viewpoints, and for different purposes, each of the writers selecting such particulars as seemed to him to be of special importance for the particular object he had in view. Their reports are all very brief, and the proper chronological order of the various events recorded in different Gospels must, in many eases, be largely a matter of conjecture. The difficulty is increased by the great irregularities and the tumultuous character of the proceedings; by our imperfect knowledge of the topography of Jerusalem at this time (29 AD); also by the fact that the reports are given mainly in popular and not in technical language; and when the latter form is used, the technical terms have had to be translated into Greek, either from the Hebrew or from the Latin.

3. Illustrations of Difficulties:

For instance, opinions are divided as to where Pilate resided when in Jerusalem, whether in the magnificent palace built by Herod the Great, or in the castle of Antonia; as to where was the palace occupied by Herod Antipas during the Passover; whether Annas and Caiaphas occupied different portions of the same palace, or whether they lived in adjoining or different residences; whether the preliminary examination of Jesus, recorded by John, was before Annas or Caiaphas, and as to other similar matters. It is very satisfactory, however, to know that, although it is sometimes difficult to decide exactly as to the best way of harmonizing the different accounts, yet there is nothing irreconcilable or contradictory in them, and that there is no material point in the history of the very important proceedings falling within the scope of this article which is seriously affected by any of these debatable matters.

For a clear historical statement of the events of the concluding day in the life of our Lord before His crucifixion, see the article on JESUS CHRIST. The present article will endeavor to consider the matters relating to His arrest and trial from a legal and constitutional point of view.

I. The Arrest.

During the last year of the ministry of Jesus, the hostility of the Jews to Him had greatly increased, and some six months before they finally succeeded in accomplishing their purpose, they had definitely resolved to make away with Him. At the Feast of Tabernacles they sent officers (the temple-guards) to take Him while He was teaching in the temple (Joh 7:32); but these, after listening to His words, returned without having made the attempt, giving as a reason that "never man so spake" (Joh 7:46).

After His raising of Lazarus, their determination to kill Him was greatly intensified. A special meeting of the council was held to consider the matter. There Caiaphas, the high priest, strongly advocated such a step on national grounds, and on the ground of expediency, quoting in support of his advice, in a cold-blooded and cynical manner, the Jewish adage that it was expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Their plans to this end were frustrated, for the time being, by Jesus withdrawing Himself to the border of the wilderness, where He remained with His disciples (Joh 11:47-54).

On His return to Bethany and Jerusalem, six days before the Passover, they were deterred from carrying out their design on account of His manifest popularity with the people, as evidenced by His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first day of the Passover week (Palm Sunday), and by the crowds who thronged around Him, and listened to His teachings in the temple, and who enjoyed the discomfiture of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians, as they successively sought to entangle Him in His talk.

Two days before the Passover, at a council meeting held in the palace of Caiaphas, they planned to accomplish their purpose by subtlety, but "not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among the people" (Mt 26:3-5; Mr 14:1,2). While they were in this state of perplexity, to their great relief Judas came to them and agreed to betray his Master for money (Mt 26:14-16; Mr 14:10,11).

1. Preparatory Steps:

This time they determined not to rely solely upon their own temple-guards or officers to execute their warrant or order of arrest, fearing that these officials, being Jews, might again be fascinated by the strange influence which Jesus exercised over His countrymen, or that His followers might offer resistance. They therefore applied to Pilate, the Roman procurator (governor), for the assistance of a band of Roman soldiers. He granted them a cohort (Greek: speira, 400 to 600 men) from the legion then quartered in the castle of Antonia, which adjoined and overlooked the temple-area. The final arrangements as to these would probably be completed while Judas was at the supper room. It has been suggested that the whole cohort would not go, but only a selection from them. However, it is said that Judas "received the band (cohort) of soldiers" (Joh 18:3), and that they were under the command of a chief captain (Greek: chiliarch, Latin tribune, Joh 18:12). If there had not been more than 100 soldiers, they would not have been under the command of a captain, but the chief officer would have been a centurion. The amazing popularity of Jesus, as shown by His triumphal entry into the city, may have led the authorities to make such ample provision against any possible attempt at rescue.

The Garden of Gethsemane, in which Judas knew that Jesus would be found that night, was well known to him (Joh 18:2); and he also knew the time he would be likely to find his Master there. Thither at the proper hour he led the band of soldiers, the temple officers and others, and also some of the chief priests and elders themselves; the whole being described as "a great multitude with swords and staves" (Mt 26:47). Although the Easter full moon would be shining brightly, they also carried "lanterns and torches" (Joh 18:3), in order to make certain that Jesus should not escape or fail to be recognized in the deep shade of the olive trees in the garden.

2. The Arrest in the Garden:

On their arrival at the garden, Jesus came forward to meet them, and the traitor Judas gave them the appointed signal by kissing Him. As the order or warrant was a Jewish one, the temple officers would probably be in front, the soldiers supporting them as reserves. On Jesus announcing to the leaders that He was the one they sought, what the chief priests had feared actually occurred. There was something in the words or bearing of Jesus which awed the temple officers; they were panic-stricken, went backward, and fell to the ground. On their rallying, the impetuous Peter drew his sword, and cut off the ear of one of them, Malchus, the servant of the high priest (Joh 18:6-10).

On this evidence of resistance the Roman captain and soldiers came forward, and with the assistance of the Jewish officers bound Jesus. Under the Jewish law this was not lawful before condemnation, save in exceptional cases where resistance was either offered or apprehended.

Even in this trying hour the concern of Jesus was more for others than for Himself, as witness His miracle in healing the ear of Malchus, and His request that His disciples might be allowed their liberty (Joh 18:8). Notwithstanding His efforts, His followers were panic-stricken, probably on account of the vigorous action of the officers and soldiers after the assault by Peter, "and they all left him and fled" (Mr 14:50).

It is worthy of note that Jesus had no word of blame or censure for the Roman officers or soldiers who were only doing their sworn duty in supporting the civil authorities; but His pungent words of reproach for not having attempted His arrest while He was teaching openly in the temple were reserved for "the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and elders" (Lu 22:52), who had shown their inordinate zeal and hostility by taking the unusual, and for those who were to sit as judges on the case, the improper and illegal course of accompanying the officers, and themselves taking part in the arrest.

3. Taken to the City:

The whole body departed with their prisoner for the city. From the first three Gospels one might infer that they went directly to the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. In the Fourth Gospel, however, we are told that they took him first to Annas (Joh 18:13).

Why they did so we are not informed, the only statement made being that he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas (Joh 18:13). He had been the high priest from 7 AD to 15 AD, when he was deposed by Valerius Gratus, the Roman procurator. He was still the most influential member of the Sanhedrin, and, being of an aggressive disposition, it may be that it was he who had given instructions as to the arrest, and that they thought it their duty to report first to him.

Annas, however, sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas (Joh 18:24). Having delivered over their prisoner, the Roman soldiers would proceed to their quarters in the castle, the temple officials retaining Jesus in their charge.

Meanwhile, the members of the Sanhedrin were assembling at the palace of the high priest, and the preliminary steps toward the first or Jewish trial were being taken.

II. The Jewish Trial.

1. The Jewish Law:

It is the just boast of those countries whose jurisprudence had its origin in the common law of England, that their system of criminal law is rounded upon the humane maxims that everyone is presumed to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty, and that no one is bound to criminate himself. But the Jewish law went even farther in the safeguards which it placed around an accused person. In the Pentateuch it is provided that one witness shall not be sufficient to convict any man of even a minor offense. "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established" (De 19:15).

2. The Mishna:

These principles of the Mosaic law were elaborated and extended in the system which grew up after the return from Babylon. It was begun by the men of the Great Synagogue, and was afterward completed by the Sanhedrin which succeeded them. Up to the time of our Lord, and for the first two centuries of the Christian era, their rules remained largely in an oral or unwritten form, until they were compiled or codified in the Mishna by Rabbi Judah and his associates and successors in the early part of the 3rd century. It is generally conceded by both Jewish and Christian writers that the main provisions, therein found for the protection of accused persons, had been long incorporated in the oral law and were recognized as a part of it in the time of Annas and Caiaphas.

3. Criminal Trials:

The provisions relating to criminal trials, and especially to those in which the offense was punishable by death, were very stringent and were all framed in the interest of the accused. Among them were the following: The trial must be begun by day, and if not completed before night it must be adjourned and resumed by day; the quorum of judges in capital cases was 23, that being the quorum of the Grand Council; a verdict of acquittal, which required only a majority of one, might be rendered on the same day as the trial was completed; any other verdict could only be rendered on a subsequent day and required a majority of at least two; no prisoner could be convicted on his own evidence; it was the duty of a judge to see that the interests of the accused were fully protected.

The modern practice of an information or complaint and a preliminary investigation before a magistrate was wholly unknown to the Jewish law and foreign to its genius. The examination of the witnesses in open court was in reality the beginning of a Jewish trial, and the crime for which the accused was tried, and the sole charge he had to meet, was that which was disclosed by the evidence of the witnesses.

4. The Trial of Jesus:

Let us see how far the foregoing principles and rules were followed and observed in the proceedings before the high priest in the present instance. The first step taken in the trial was the private examination of Jesus by the high priest, which is recorded only in Joh 18:19-23. Opinions differ as to whether this examination was conducted by Annas at his residence before he sent Jesus to Caiaphas (Joh 18:24), or by the latter after Jesus had been delivered up to him.

Caiaphas was actually the high priest at the time, and had been for some years. Annas had been deposed from the office about 14 years previously by the Roman procurator; but he was still accorded the title (Ac 4:6). Many of the Jews did not concede the right of the procurator to depose him, and looked upon him as still the rightful high priest. He is also said to have been at this time the vice-president of the Sanhedrin. The arguments as to which of them is called the high priest by John in this passage are based largely upon two different renderings of Joh 18:24. In the King James Version the verse reads "Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest," a reading based upon the Textus Receptus of the New Testament which implies that Jesus had been sent to Caiaphas before the examination. On the other hand, the Revised Version (British and American), following the Greek text adopted by Nestle and others, reads, "Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest," implying that Annas sent him to Caiaphas on account of what had taken place in the examination.

However, it is not material which of these two leading members of the Sanhedrin conducted the examination. The same may also be said as to the controversy regarding the residence of Annas at the time, whether it was in some part of the official palace of the high priest or elsewhere. The important matters are the fact, the time, and the manner of the examination by one or other of these leading members of the council, not the precise place where, or the particular person by whom, it was conducted.

5. The Preliminary Examination:

The high priest (whether Annas or Caiaphas) proceeded to interrogate Jesus concerning His disciples and His doctrine (Joh 18:19). Such a proceeding formed no part of a regular Jewish trial, and was, moreover, not taken in good faith; but with a view to entrapping Jesus into admissions that might be used against Him at the approaching trial before the council. It appears to have been in the nature of a private examination, conducted probably while the members of the council were assembling. The dignified and appropriate answer of Jesus pointedly brought before the judge the irregularity he was committing, and was a reminder that His trial should begin with the examination of the witnesses: "‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said" (Joh 18:20,21 the King James Version). The reply to this was a blow from one of the officers, an outrageous proceeding which appears to have passed unrebuked by the judge, and it was left to Jesus Himself to make the appropriate protest.

6. The Night Trial:

The next proceeding was the trial before the council in the palace of Caiaphas, attended at least by the quorum of 23. This was an illegal meeting, since a capital trial, as we have seen, could not either be begun or proceeded with at night. Some of the chief priests and elders, as previously stated, had been guilty of the highly improper act for judges, of taking part in and directing the arrest of Jesus. Now, "the chief priests and the whole council" spent the time intervening between the arrest and the commencement of the trial in something even worse: they "sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death" (Mt 26:59). This, no doubt, only means that they then collected their false witnesses and instructed them as to the testimony they should give. For weeks, ever since the raising of Lazarus, they had been preparing for such a trial, as we read: "So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death" (Joh 11:53).

Caiaphas, as high priest and president of the Sanhedrin, presided at the meeting of the council. The oath administered to witnesses in a Jewish court was an extremely solemn invocation, and it makes one shudder to think of the high priest pronouncing these words to perjured witnesses, known by him to have been procured by the judges before him in the manner stated.

7. False Witnesses:

But even this did not avail. Although "many bare false witness against him," yet on account of their having been imperfectly tutored by their instructors, or for other cause, "their witness agreed not together" (Mr 14:56), and even these prejudiced and partial judges could not find the concurring testimony of two witnesses required by their law (De 19:15).

The nearest approach to the necessary concurrence came at last from two witnesses, who gave a distorted report of a figurative and enigmatic statement made by Jesus in the temple during His early ministry: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Joh 2:19). The explanation is given: "He spake of the temple of his body" (Joh 2:21). The testimony of the two witnesses is reported with but slight variations in the two first Gospels as follows: "This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days" (Mt 26:61); and "We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands" (Mr 14:58). Whether these slightly different statements represent the discrepancies in their testimony, or on account of some other variations or contradictions, the judges reluctantly decided that "not even so did their witness agree together" (Mr 14:59).

8. A Browbeating Judge:

Caiaphas, having exhausted his list of witnesses, and seeing the prosecution on which he had set his heart in danger of breaking down for the lack of legal evidence, adopted a blustering tone, and said to Jesus, "Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace" (Mt 26:62,63), relying on the fact that the prosecution had utterly failed on account of the lack of agreement of two witnesses on any of the charges. As a final and desperate resort, Caiaphas had recourse to a bold strategic move to draw from Jesus an admission or confession on which he might base a condemnation, similar to the attempt which failed at the preliminary examination; but this time fortifying his appeal by a solemn adjuration in the name of the Deity. He said to Jesus: "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mt 26:63,64). Caiaphas, although knowing that under the law Jesus could not be convicted on His own answers or admissions, thereupon in a tragic manner "rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death (Mt 26:65,66).

The night session then broke up to meet again after daybreak in order to ratify the decision just come to, and to give a semblance of legality to the trial and verdict. The closing scene was one of disorder, in which they spat in their prisoner’s face and buffeted him (Mt 26:67,68; Lu 22:63-65).

9. The Morning Session:

The following morning, "as soon as it was day," the council reassembled in the same place, and Jesus was led into their presence (Lu 22:66). There were probably a number of the council present who had not attended the night session. For the benefit of these, and perhaps to give an appearance of legality to the proceeding, the high priest began the trial anew, but not with the examination of witnesses which had proved such a failure at the night session. He proceeded at once to ask substantially the same questions as had finally brought out from Jesus the night before the answer which he had declared to be blasphemy, and upon which the council had "condemned him to be worthy of death" (Mr 14:64). The meeting is mentioned in all the Gospels, the details of the examination are related by Luke alone. When asked whether He was the Christ, He replied, "If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I ask you, ye will not answer. But from henceforth shall the Son of man be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Lu 22:67-69). This answer not being sufficient to found a verdict of blasphemy upon, they all cried out, "Art thou then the Son of God?" To this He gave an affirmative answer, "Ye say that I am. And they said, What further need have we of witness? for we ourselves have heard from his own mouth" (Lu 22:70,71).

10. Powers of the Sanhedrin:

It will be observed that neither at the night nor at the morning session was there any sentence pronounced upon Jesus by the high priest. There was on each occasion only what would be equivalent to a verdict of guilty found by a jury under our modern criminal practice, but no sentence passed upon the prisoner by the presiding judge. When Judea lost the last vestige of its independence and became a Roman province (6 AD), the Sanhedrin ceased to have the right to inflict Capital punishment or to administer the law of life and death. This jurisdiction was thenceforth transferred to the Roman procurator. The Sanhedrin submitted very reluctantly to this curtailment of its powers. A few years later it exercised it illegally and in a very riotous manner in the case of Stephen (Ac 7:58). Annas, however, of all men, had good reason not to violate this law, as his having done so during the absence of the procurator was the cause of his being deposed from the office of high priest by Valerius Gratus (15 AD).

The proceedings may have been taken before the high priest in the hope that Pilate might be induced to accept the verdict of the Sanhedrin as conclusive that Jesus had been guilty of an offense punishable by death under the Jewish law.

11. Condemnation for Blasphemy:

Now what was the precise crime or crimes for which Jesus was tried at these two sittings of the council? The first impression would probably be that there was no connection between the charge of destroying the temple and building another in three days, and His claiming to be the Son of God. And yet they were closely allied in the Jewish mind. The Jewish nation being a pure theocracy, the overthrow of the temple, the abode of the Divine Sovereign, would mean the overthrow of Divine institutions, and be an act of treason against the Deity. The profession of ability to build another temple in three days would be construed as a claim to the possession of supernatural power and, consequently, blasphemy. As to the other claim which He Himself made and confessed to the council, namely, that He was the Christ, the Son of God, none of them would have any hesitation in concurring in the verdict of the high priest that it was rank blasphemy, when made by one whom they regarded simply as a Galilean peasant.

12. Summary:

To sum up: The Jewish trial of our Lord was absolutely illegal, the court which condemned Him being without jurisdiction to try a capital offense, which blasphemy was under the Jewish law. Even if there had been jurisdiction, it would have been irregular, as the judges had rendered themselves incompetent to try the case, having been guilty of the violation of the spirit of the law that required judges to be unprejudiced and impartial, and carefully to guard the interests of the accused. Even the letter of the law had been violated in a number of important respects. Among these may be mentioned:

(1) some of the judges taking part in and directing the arrest;

(2) the examination before the trial and the attempt to obtain admissions;

(3) endeavors of the judges to procure the testimony of false witnesses;

(4) commencing and continuing the trial at night;

(5) examining and adjuring the accused in order to extort admissions from Him;

(6) rendering a verdict of guilty at the close of the night session, without allowing a day to intervene;

(7) holding the morning session on a feast day, and rendering a verdict at its close; and

(8) rendering both verdicts without any legal evidence.

III. The Roman Trial.

Early on the morning of Friday of the Passover week, as we have already seen, "the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council" held a consultation (Mark), in the palace of the high priest; and after the examination of Jesus and their verdict that He was guilty of blasphemy, they took counsel against Him "to put him to death" (Mt), this being, in their judgment, the proper punishment for the offense of which they had pronounced Him guilty.

1. Taken before Pilate:

For the reasons already mentioned, they came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to invoke the aid of the Roman power in carrying out this sentence. They thereupon bound Jesus, and led Him away and delivered Him up to Pilate, who at this time probably occupied, while in Jerusalem, the magnificent palace built by Herod the Great. Jesus was taken into the judgment hall of the palace or Pretorium; His accusers, unwilling to defile themselves by entering into a heathen house and thereby rendering themselves unfit to eat the Passover, remained outside upon the marble pavement.

2. Roman Law and Procedure:

The proceedings thus begun were conducted under a system entirely different from that which we have thus far been considering, both in its nature and its administration. The Jewish law was apart of the religion, and in its growth and development was administered in important cases by a large body of trained men, who were obliged to follow strictly a well-defined procedure. The Roman law, on the other hand, had its origin and growth under the stern and manly virtues and the love of justice which characterized republican Rome, and it still jealously guarded the rights and privileges of Roman citizens, even in a conquered province. Striking illustrations of this truth are found in the life of Paul (see Ac 16:35-39; 22:24-29; 25:10-12). The lives and fortunes of the natives in an imperial province like Judea may be said to have been almost completely at the mercy of the Roman procurator or governor, who was responsible to his imperial master alone, and not even to the Roman senate. Pilate therefore was well within the mark when, at a later stage of the trial, being irritated at Jesus remaining silent when questioned by him, he petulantly exclaimed: "Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee?" (Joh 19:10). While, however, the procurator was not compelled in such cases to adhere strictly to the prescribed procedure, and had a wide discretion, he was not allowed to violate or depart from the established principles of the law.

On this occasion, Pilate, respecting the scruples of the chief priests about entering the palace, went outside at their request, apparently leaving Jesus in the Pretorium. He asked them the usual formal question, put at the opening of a Roman trial: "What accusation bring ye against this man?

3. Full Trial Not Desired:

They answered and said unto him, If he were not an evil-doer, we should not have delivered him up unto thee" (Joh 18:29 f the King James Version). Pilate could see at once that this was a mere attempt to evade the direct question he had asked, and was not such an accusation as disclosed any offense known to the Roman law. Affecting to treat it with disdain, and as something known only to their own law, he said, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law. The Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death" (Joh 18:31).

4. Final Accusation:

Perceiving that Pilate would not gratify their desire to have Jesus condemned on the verdict which they had rendered, or for an offense against their own law only, "they began to accuse him, saying, We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king" (Lu 23:2). This was an accusation containing three charges, much like a modern indictment containing three counts. Pilate appears to have been satisfied that there was nothing in the first two of these charges; but the third was too serious to be ignored, especially as it was a direct charge of majestas or treason, the greatest crime known to the Roman law, and as to which the reigning emperor, Tiberius, and his then favorite, Sejanus, were particularly sensitive and jealous. The charges in this case were merely oral, but it would appear to have been in the discretion of the procurator to receive them in this form in the case of one who was not a Roman citizen.

5. Examination, Defence and Acquittal:

The accusers having been heard, Pilate returned to the Pretorium to examine Jesus regarding the last and serious accusation. The Four Gospels give in the same words the question put to him by Pilate, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" The first three record only the final affirmative answer, "Thou sayest," which if it stood alone might have been taken as a plea of guilty; but John gives the intervening discussion which explains the matter fully. He tells us that Jesus did not answer the question directly, but asked Pilate, "Sayest thou this of thyself, or did others tell it thee concerning me?" (Joh 18:34) (apparently not having been outside when the charges were made). On being told that it came from the chief priests, He went on to explain that His kingdom was not of this world, but was a spiritual kingdom. Being again asked if He was a king, He replied in effect, that He was a king in that sense, and that His subjects were those who were of the truth and heard His voice (Joh 18:35-37). Pilate, being satisfied with His explanation, "went out again unto the Jews," and apparently having taken Jesus with him, he mounted his judgment seat or movable tribunal, which had been placed upon the tesselated pavement, and pronounced his verdict, "I find in him no fault at all" (Joh 18:38 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "I find no crime in him").

6. Fresh Accusations:

According to the Roman law, this verdict of acquittal should have ended the trial and at once secured the discharge of Jesus; but instead it brought a volley of fresh accusations to which Jesus made no reply. Pilate hesitated, and hearing a charge that Jesus had begun His treasonable teaching in Galilee, the thought occurred to him that he might escape from his dilemma by sending Jesus for trial to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, who was then in Jerusalem for the feast, which he accordingly did (Lu 23:7).

7. Reference to Herod:

Herod had long been desirous to see Jesus—"hoped to see some miracle done by him," and "questioned him in many words; but he answered him nothing." The chief priests and scribes, who had followed him from the Pretorium to the Maccabean palace, which Herod was then occupying, "stood, vehemently accusing" Jesus (Lu 23:8-10). "That fox," however, as Jesus had called him (Lu 13:32), was too astute to intermeddle in a trial for treason, which was a dangerous proceeding, and possibly he was aware that Pilate had already acquitted Him; in which case a retrial by him would be illegal. He and his soldiers, probably irritated at the refusal of Jesus to give him any answer, mocked Him, and arraying Him in a gorgeous robe, no doubt in ridicule of His claim to be a king, sent Him back to Pilate. This reference to Herod in reality formed no effective part of the trial of Jesus, as Herod declined the jurisdiction, although Pilate sought to make use of it in his subsequent discussion with the chief priests. The only result was that Herod was flattered by the courtesy of Pilate, the enmity between them ceased, and they were made friends (Lu 23:11,12,15).

8. Jesus or Barabbas:

On their return, Pilate resumed his place on the judgment seat outside. What followed, however, properly formed no part of the legal trial, as it was a mere travesty upon law as well as upon justice. Pilate resolved to make another attempt to secure the consent of the Jews to the release of Jesus. To this end he summoned not only the chief priests and the rulers, but "the people" as well (Lu 23:13), and after mentioning the failure to prove any of the charges made against Jesus, he reminded them of the custom of releasing at the feast a prisoner selected by them, and offering as a compromise to chastise or scourge Jesus before releasing Him. At this point Pilate’s anxiety to release Jesus was still further increased by the message he received from his wife concerning her disturbing dream about Jesus and warning him to "have .... nothing to do with that righteous man" (Mt 27:19). Meanwhile, the chief priests and elders were busily engaged in canvassing the multitude to ask for the release of Barabbas, the notable robber, and destroy Jesus (Mt 27:20). When Pilate urged them to release Jesus, they cried out all together, "Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas"; and upon a further appeal on behalf of Jesus they cried, "Crucify, crucify him." A third attempt on his part met with no better result (Lu 23:18-23).

9. Behold the Man!:

The Fourth Gospel alone records a final attempt on the part of Pilate to save Jesus. He scourged Him, it has been suggested, with a view to satisfying their desire for His punishment, and afterward appealing to their pity. He allowed his soldiers to repeat what they had seen done at Herod’s palace, and place a crown of thorns upon His head, array Him in a purple robe, and render mock homage to Him as king of the Jews. Pilate went out to the Jews with Jesus thus arrayed and bleeding. Again declaring that he found no fault in Him, he presented Him, saying, "Behold, the man!" This was met by the former cry, "Crucify him, crucify him." Pilate replied, "Take him yourselves .... for I find no crime in him." The Jews referred him to their law by which He deserved death because He made Himself the Son of God. This alarmed Pilate’s superstitious fears, who by this time appears to have wholly lost control of himself. He took Jesus into the palace and said to Him, "Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer." Irritated at His silence, Pilate reminded Him of his absolute power over Him. The mysterious answer of Jesus as to the source of power still further alarmed him, and he made new efforts to secure His discharge (Joh 19:1-9).

10. Pilate Succumbs to Threats:

The Jews were well aware that Pilate was arbitrary and cruel, but they had also found that he was very sensitive as to anything that might injuriously affect his official position or his standing with his master, the emperor. As a last resort they shouted to him, "If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend: every one that maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar" (Joh 19:12). The prospect of a charge of his aiding and abetting such a crime as treason, in addition to the other charges that a guilty conscience told him might be brought against him, proved too much for the vacillating procurator. He brought Jesus out, and sat down again upon the judgment seat placed upon the pavement. He made one more appeal, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests gave the hypocritical answer, "We have no king but Caesar" (Joh 19:15). Pilate finally succumbed to their threats and clamor; but took his revenge by placing upon the cross the superscription that was so galling to them, "THE KING OF THE JEWS."

11. Pilate Washes His Hands:

Then occurred the closing scene of the tragedy, recorded only in the First Gospel, when Pilate washed his hands before the multitude (a Jewish custom), saying to them, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it." The reply was that dreadful imprecation, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Mt 27:24,25).

12. The Sentence:

Pilate resumes his place upon the judgment seat, the fatal sentence at last falls from his lips, and Jesus is delivered up to be crucified.

Now, how far were these proceedings in accordance with the Roman law under which they purported to have been taken and conducted? In the first place, Pilate, as procurator, was the proper officer to try the charges brought against Jesus.

13. Review:

In the next place he acted quite properly in declining to entertain a charge which disclosed no offense known to the Roman law, or to pass a sentence based on the verdict of the Sanhedrin for an alleged violation of the Jewish law. He appears to have acted in accordance with the law, and indeed in a judicial and praiseworthy manner in the trial and disposition of the threefold indictment for treason (unless it be a fact that Jesus was not present when these accusations were brought against Him outside the Pretorium, which would be merely an irregularity, as they were made known to him later inside). Pilate’s initial mistake, which led to all the others, was in not discharging Jesus at once, when he had pronounced the verdict of acquittal.

All the subsequent proceedings were contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the law. Although Pilate took his place upon the judgment seat, his acts, properly speaking, were not those of a judge, and had no legal force or value; but were rather the futile attempts of a weak and vacillating politician to appease an angry mob thirsting for the blood of an innocent countryman. The carrying out of a sentence imposed in such circumstances, and under such conditions, may not inaptly be described as a judicial murder.

John James Maclaren


je’-zus jus’-tus Iesous ho legomenos Ioustos, "Jesus that is called Justus," Col 4:11):

1. A Jew by Birth:

One of three friends of Paul—the others being Aristarchus and Mark—whom he associates with himself in sending salutations from Rome to the church at Colosse. Jesus Justus is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament, and there is nothing more known about him than is given in this passage in Colossians, namely, that he was by birth a Jew—"of the circumcision"—that he had been converted to Christ, and that he was one of the inner circle of intimate friends and associates of the apostle during his first Roman captivity.

2. He Remains True to Paul:

The words also contain the information that at a stage in Paul’s imprisonment, when the welcome extended to him by the Christians in Rome on his arrival there had lost its first warmth, and when in consequence, probably, of their fear of persecution, most of them had proved untrue and were holding aloof from him, J. J. and his two friends remained faithful. It would be pressing this passage unduly to make it mean that out of the large number—hundreds, or perhaps even one or two thousands—who composed the membership of the church in Rome at this time, and who within the next few years proved their loyalty to Christ by their stedfastness unto death in the Neronic persecution, all fell away from their affectionate allegiance to Paul at this difficult time. The words cannot be made to signify more than that it was the Jewish section of the church in Rome which acted in this unworthy manner—only temporarily, it is to be hoped. But among these Jewish Christians, to such dimensions had this defection grown that Aristarchus, Mark and J. J. alone were the apostle’s fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God. These three alone, at that particular time—from among the Jewish Christians—were helping him in the work of the gospel in Rome. That this defection refers to the Jewish section of the church and not to the converts from among the Gentiles, is evident from many considerations. It seems to be proved, for example by verse 14 of the same chapter (i.e. Col 4:14), as well as by Phm 1:24, in both of which passages Paul names Demas and Luke as his fellow-laborers; and Luke was not a Jew by birth. But in the general failure of the Christians in Rome in their conduct toward Paul, it is with much affection and pathos that he writes concerning Aristarchus, Mark, and J. J., "These only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me."

John Rutherfurd




je’-ther (yether, "abundance"):

(1) Ex 4:18 the Revised Version margin, King James Version, margin.


(2) Gideon’s eldest son (Jud 8:20), who was called upon by his father to slay Zebah and Zalmunnah, but "feared, because he was yet a youth." The narrative there (Jud 8:4 ) should be connected with that of Jud 6:34, where Gideon is followed by his clan, and not with that of Jud 7, where he has 300 picked men. The captives would be taken to Orpah, Gideon’s home, and slain there.

(3) Father of Amasa (1Ki 2:5,32); he was an Ishmaelite according to 1Ch 2:17 =" Ithra, the Israelite" of 2Sa 17:25, where "the Ishmaelite" should be read for "the Israelite."

(4) A Jerahmeelite (1Ch 2:32 twice).

(5) A Judahite (1Ch 4:17).

(6) A man of Asher (1Ch 7:38) =" Ithran" of 1Ch 7:37.

David Francis Roberts


je’-theth (yetheth, meaning unknown): a chief (or clan) of Edom (Ge 36:40 parallel 1Ch 1:51), but probably a mistake for "Jether" =" Ithran" (Ge 36:26).


jeth’-la (yithlah).



jeth’-ro, je’-thro (yithro, "excellence," Ex 3:1; 4:18 b; 18:1-12 (in 4:18a, probably a textual error, yether, "Iether," the King James Version margin, the Revised Version margin); Septuagint always Iothor): The priest of Midian and father-in-law (chothen) of Moses.

1. His Relation to Reuel and Hobab:

It is not easy to determine the relation of Jethro to Reuel and Hobab. If we identify Jethro with Reuel as in Ex 2:18; 3:1 (and in Ant, III, iii; V, ii, 3), we must connect "Moses’ father-in-law" in Nu 10:29 immediately with "Reuel" (the King James Version "Raguel"), and make Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses. But while it is possible that chothen may be used in the wider sense of a wife’s relative, it is nowhere translated "brother-in-law" except in Jud 1:16; 4:11 ("father-in-law," the King James Version, the Revised Version margin). If we insert, as Ewald suggests (HI, II, 25), "Jethro son of" before "Reuel" in Ex 2:18 (compare the Septuagint, verse 16, where the name "Jethro" is given), we would then identify Jethro with Hobab, the son of Reuel, in Nu 10:29, taking "Moses’ father-in-law" to refer back to Hobab. Against this identification, however, it is stated that Jethro went away into his own country without any effort on the part of Moses to detain him (Ex 18:27), whereas Hobab, though at first he refused to remain with the Israelites, seems to have yielded to the pleadings of Moses to become their guide to Canaan (Nu 10:29-32; Jud 1:16, where Kittel reads "Hobab the Kenite"; Jud 4:11). It may be noted that while the father-in-law of Moses is spoken of as a "Midianite" in Exodus, he is called A"kenite" in Jud 1:16; 4:11. From this Ewald infers that the Midianites were at that time intimately blended with the Amalekites, to which tribe the Kenites belonged (HI, II, 44).

2. His Hearty Reception of Moses:

When Moses fled from Egypt he found refuge in Midian, where he received a hearty welcome into the household of Jethro on account of the courtesy and kindness he had shown to the priest’s 7 daughters in helping them to water their flock. This friendship resulted in Jethro giving Moses his daughter, Zipporah, to wife (Ex 2:15-21). After Moses had been for about 40 years in the service of his father-in-law, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush as he was keeping the flock at Horeb, commanding him to return to Egypt and deliver his enslaved brethren out of the hands of Pharaoh (Ex 3:1 ). With Jethro’s consent Moses left Midian to carry out the Divine commission (Ex 4:18).

3. His Visit to Moses in the Wilderness:

When tidings reached Midian of "all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel" in delivering them from Egyptian bondage, Jethro, with a natural pride in the achievements of his relative, set out on a visit to Moses, taking Zipporah and her two sons with him (Ex 18:1-12). On learning of his father-in-law’s arrival at the "mount of God," Moses went out to meet him, and after a cordial exchange of courtesies they retired to Moses’ tent, where a pleasant interview took place between them. We are told of the interest Jethro felt in all the particulars of the great deliverance, how he "rejoiced for all the goodness which Yahweh had done to Israel," and how the conviction was wrought within him that Yahweh was "greater than all gods; yea, in the thing wherein they dealt proudly against them" (Ex 18:11). In this condition so expressed there is evidently a reference to the element by which the Egyptians thought in their high-handed pursuit they would be able to bring back Israel into bondage, but by which they were themselves overthrown.

It is worth noting that in the religious service in which Jethro and Moses afterward engaged, when Jethro, as priest, offered a burnt offering, and Aaron with all the elders of Israel partook of the sacrificial feast, prominence was given to Jethro over Aaron, and thus a priesthood was recognized beyond the limits of Israel.

4. His Wise Counsel:

This visit of Jethro to Moses had important consequences for the future government of Israel (Ex 18:13-27). The priest of Midian became concerned about his son-in-law when he saw him occupied from morning to night in deciding the disputes that had arisen among the people. The labor this entailed, Jethro said, was far too heavy a burden for one man to bear. Moses himself would soon be worn out, and the people, too, would become weary and dissatisfied, owing to the inability of one judge to overtake all the eases that were brought before him. Jethro, therefore, urged Moses to make use of the talents of others and adopt a plan of gradation of judges who would dispose of all eases of minor importance, leaving only the most difficult for him to settle by a direct appeal to the will of God. Moses, recognizing the wisdom of his father-in-law’s advice, readily acted upon his suggestion and appointed "able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens." Thereafter, Jethro returned to his own country.

5. His Character and Influence:

The story of Jethro reveals him as a man of singular attractiveness and strength, in whom a kind, considerate disposition, a deeply religious spirit, and a wise judgment all met in happy combination. And this ancient priest of Midian made Israel and all nations his debtors when he taught the distinction between the legislative and the judicial function, and the importance of securing that all law be the expression of the Divine will, and that its application be entrusted only to men of ability, piety, integrity and truth (Ex 18:21).

James Crichton


je’-tur (yeTur, meaning uncertain): a "son" of Ishmael (Ge 25:15 parallel 1Ch 1:31); against this clan the two and a half tribes warred (1Ch 5:18 f); they are the Itureans of New Testament times.



je-u’-el ju’-el (ye’-u’-el, meaning unknown):

(1) A man of Judah (1Ch 9:6); the name is not found in the parallel of Ne 11:24. (2) A Levite, the King James Version "Jeiel" (2Ch 29:13).

(3) A companion of Ezra, the King James Version "Jeiel" (Ezr 8:13).

(4) The name occurs also as Kethibh in 1Ch 9:35; 2Ch 26:11.

See JEIEL, (2), (6).


je’-ush (ye‘ush, probably "he protects," "he comes to help"; see HPN, 109; Kethibh is ye‘ish, in Ge 36:5,14; 1Ch 7:10):

(1) A "son" of Esau (Ge 36:5,14,18; 1Ch 1:35). "The name is thought by some to be identical with that, of an Arabian lion-god Yagut ...., meaning ‘helper,’ whose antiquity is vouched for by inscriptions of Thamud" (Skinner, Gen, 432).

(2) A Benjamite (1Ch 7:10), but probably a Zebulunite. See Curtis, Chronicles, 145 ff.

(3) A descendant of King Saul, the King James Version "Jehush" (1Ch 8:39).

(4) A Gershonite Levite (1Ch 23:10,11).

(5) A son of King Rehoboam (2Ch 11:19).

David Francis Roberts


je’-uz ye‘-uts "he counsels"): The eponym of a Benjamite family (1Ch 8:10).


ju, joo, ju’-ish, joo’-ish (yehudhi plural yehudhim; Ioudaioi; feminine adjective yehudhith; Ioudaikos): "Jew" denotes originally an inhabitant of Judah (2Ki 16:6 applies to the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom), but later the meaning was extended to embrace all descendants of Abraham. In the Old Testament the word occurs a few times in the singular. (Es 2:5; 3:4, etc.; Jer 34:9; Zec 8:23); very frequently in the plural in Ezra and Nehemiah, Esther, and in Jeremiah and Daniel. The adjective in the Old Testament applies only to the "Jews’ language" or speech (2Ki 18:26,28 parallel Ne 13:24; Isa 36:11,13). "Jews" (always plural) is the familiar term for Israelites in the Gospels (especially in John), Acts, Epistles, etc. "Jewess" occurs in 1Ch 4:18; Ac 16:1; 24:24. In Tit 1:14 a warning is given against "Jewish fables" (in Greek the adjective is found also in Ga 2:14). The "Jews’ religion" (Ioudaismos) is referred to in Ga 1:13,14. On the "Jews’ language,"see LANGUAGES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; on the "Jews’ religion," see ISRAEL, RELIGION OF.

James Orr


ju’-el, joo’-el: An ornament of gold, silver or of precious stones in the form of armlet, bracelet, anklet, nose-ring, etc. Oriental dress yields itself freely to such adornment, to which there are many allusions in Scripture. a frequent term in Hebrew is keli ("utensil," "vessel"), coupled with mention of "gold" or "silver" or both (Ge 24:53; Ex 3:22; 11:2; 12:35; 35:22; 1Sa 6:8,15, etc.; the Revised Version (British and American) in 2Ch 32:27 translations "vessels"). In So 1:10, where the King James Version has "rows (of jewels)," the Revised Version (British and American) has "plaits (of hair)"; in So 7:1, the word is from a root chalah, meaning "to adorn." In 3 instances in the King James Version "jewel" represents the Hebrew nezem (Pr 11:22; Isa 3:21; Eze 16:12); the American Standard Revised Version changes Pr 11:22 to "ring" Septuagint here =" earring"), and both the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version have "ring" in Eze 16:12. The familiar phrase in Mal 3:17, "in that day when I make up my jewels," becomes in the English Revised Version, "in the day that I do make, even a peculiar treasure" (margin "or, wherein I do make a peculiar treasure"), and in the American Standard Revised Version, "even mine own possession, in the day that I make" (margin "or, do this").


James Orr


ju’-ri, joo’-ri: In Da 5:13 the King James Version, where the Revised Version (British and American) has "Judah"; in the New Testament, in two places in the King James Version, Lu 23:5; Joh 7:1, where the Revised Version (British and American) has correctly "Judaea" (Ioudaia) (which see).


juz, jooz.

See JEW.


jez-a-ni’-a (yezanyahu, probably "Yahweh hears"; compare JAAZANIAH): In Jer 40:8, and also 42:1 where Septuagint has "Azariah," as in 43:2 (see Driver, Jer) = JAAZANIAH, (1) (which see).


jez’-e-bel ‘izebhel, "unexalted," "unhusbanded" (?); Iezabel; see BDB; 1Ki 16:31; 18:4,13,19; 19:1,2; 21:5 ff; 2Ki 9:7 ff, 30 ff; Re 2:20): Daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, i.e. Phoenicians, and queen of Ahab, king of Northern Israel. Ahab (circa 874-853 BC) carried out a policy, which his father had perhaps started, of making alliances with other states. The alliance with the Phoenicians was cemented by his marriage with Jezebel, and he subsequently gave his daughter Athaliah in marriage to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. His own union with Jezebel is regarded as a sin in 1Ki 16:31, where the Massoretic Text is difficult, being generally understood as a question. The Septuagint translations: "and it was not enough that he should walk in the sins of Jeroboam ben Nebat, he also took to wife Jezebel," etc. The Hebrew can be pointed to mean, "And it was the lightest thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam ben Nebat, he also took to wife Jezebel, and went and served Baal and worshipped him," i.e. all the other sins were light as compared with the marriage with Jezebel and the serving of Baal (compare Mic 6:16). Is this a justifiable view to take of the marriage? One answer would be that Ahab made a wise alliance; that Baal-worship was not non-Hebrew, that Ahab named his children not alter Baal but after Yahweh (compare Ahaziah, Jehoram, Athaliah), and that he consulted the prophets of Yahweh (compare 1Ki 22:6); further, that he only did what Solomon had done on a much larger scale; it may be added too that Ahab was in favor of religious toleration, and that Elijah and not the king is the persecutor. What then can be said for the unfavorable Verdict of the Hebrew historians? That verdict is based on the results and effects of the marriage, on the life and character of Jezebel, and in that life two main incidents demand attention.

1. Persecution of Yahweh’s Prophets:

This is not described; it is only referred to in 1Ki 18:4, "when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Yahweh"; and this shows the history of the time to be incompletely related. In 1Ki 18:19 we are further told that "450 prophets of Baal ate at her table" (commentators regard the reference to "400 prophets of the Asherah" as an addition). In 1Ki 19:1 Ahab tells Jezebel of the slaughter of the prophets of Baal by Elijah, and then Jezebel (19:2) sends a messenger to Elijah to threaten his life. This leads to the prophet’s flight, an object which Jezebel had in view, perhaps, for she would hardly dare to murder Elijah himself. 2Ki 9:7 regards the massacre of Ahab’s family as a punishment for the persecution of the prophets by Jezebel

2. Jezebel’s Plot Against Naboth (1Ki 21):

Ahab expresses a desire to possess the vineyard neighboring upon his palace in Jezreel, owned by Naboth, who refuses to part with the family inheritance though offered either its money value or a better vineyard in exchange. Ahab is depressed at this, and Jezebel, upon finding the cause of his melancholy feelings, asks him sarcastically if he is not king, suggesting that as king his wishes should be immediately granted by his subjects. She thereupon plots to secure him Naboth’s vineyard. Jezebel sends letters sealed in Ahab’s name to the elders of Naboth’s township, and bids them arrange a public fast and make Naboth "sit at the head of the people" (Revised Version margin), a phrase taken by some to mean that he is to be arraigned, while it is explained by others as meaning that Naboth is to be given the chief place. Two witnesses—a sufficient number for that purpose—are to be brought to accuse Naboth of blasphemy and treason. This is done, and Naboth is found guilty, and stoned to death. The property is confiscated, and falls to the king (1Ki 21:1-16). Elijah hears of this, and is sent to threaten Ahab with Divine vengeance; dogs shall lick his dead body (1Ki 21:19). But in 1Ki 21:20-23 this prophecy is made, not concerning Ahab but against Jezebel, and 21:25 attributes the sins of Ahab to her influence over him.

The prophecy is fulfilled in 2Ki 9:30-37. Ahaziah and Jehoram had succeeded their father Ahab; the one reigned for 2 years (1Ki 22:51), the other 12 years (2Ki 3:1). Jehu heads a revolt against the house of Ahab, and one day comes to Jezreel. Jezebel had "painted her eyes, and attired her head," and sees Jehu coming. She greets him sarcastically as his master’s murderer. according to Massoretic Text, Jehu asks, "Who is on my side? who?" but the text is emended by Klostermann, following Septuagint in the main, "Who art thou that thou shouldest find fault with me?" i.e. thou art but a murderess thyself. She is then thrown down and the horses tread upon her (reading "they trod" for "he trod" in 2Ki 9:33). When search is afterward made for her remains, they are found terribly mutilated. Thus was the prophecy fulfilled. (Some commentaries hold that Naboth’s vineyard and Ahab’s garden were in Samaria, and Naboth a Jezreelite. The words, "which was in Jezreel," of 1Ki 21:1 are wanting in Septuagint, which has "And Naboth had a vineyard by the threshing-floor of Ahab king of Samaria." But compare 1Ki 18:45; 21:23; 2Ki 8:29; 9:10,15 ff, 30 ff.)


3. Jezebel’s Character:

The character of Jezebel is seen revived in that of her daughter, Athaliah of Judah (2Ki 11); there is no doubt that Jezebel was a powerful personality. She brought the worship of the Phoenician Baal and Astarte with her into Hebrew life, and indirectly introduced it into Judah as well as into the Northern Kingdom. In judging her connection with this propagation, we should bear in mind that she is not a queen of the 20th century; she must be judged in company with other queens famous in history. Her religious attitude and zeal might profitably be compared with that of Mary, queen of Scots. It must also be remembered that the introduction of any religious change is often resented when it comes from a foreign queen, and is apt to be misunderstood, e.g. the attitude of Greece to the proposal of Queen Olga have an authorized edition of the Bible in modern Greek.

On the other hand, although much may be said that would be favorable to Jezebel from the religious standpoint, the balance is heavy against her when we remember her successful plot against Naboth. It is not perhaps blameworthy in her that she upheld the religion of her native land, although the natural thing would have been to follow that of her adopted land (compare Ru 1:16 f). The superiority of Yahweh-worship was not as clear then as it is to us today. It may also be held that Baal-worship was not unknown in Hebrew life (compare Jud 6:25 f), that Baal of Canaan had become incorporated with Yahweh of Sinai, and that there were pagan elements in the worship of the latter. But against all this it must be clear that the Baal whom Jezebel attempted to introduce was the Phoenician Baal, pure and simple; he was another god, or rather in him was presented an idea of God very different from Yahweh. And further, "in Phoenicia, where wealth and luxury had been enjoyed on a scale unknown to either Israel or the Canaanites of the interior, there was a refinement, if one may so speak, and at the same time a prodigality of vicious indulgences, connected with the worship of Baal and Astarte to which Israel had hitherto been a stranger ..... It was like a cancer eating into the vitals or a head and heart sickness resulting in total decay (Isa 1:6). In Israel, moral deterioration meant political as well as spiritual death. The weal of the nation lay in fidelity to Yahweh alone, and in His pure worship" (HPM, section symbol 213).

The verdict of the Hebrew historian is thus substantiated. Jezebel is an example—an extreme one no doubt—of the bad influence of a highly developed civilization forcing itself with all its sins upon a community less highly civilized, but possessed of nobler moral and religious conceptions. She has parallels both in family and in national life. For a parallel to Elijah’s attitude toward Jezebel compare the words of Carlyle about Knox in On Heroes and Hero-Worship, IV, especially the section, "We blame Knox for his intolerance," etc.

In Re 2:20, we read of Iezabel, "the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess"; not "thy wife" (i.e. the wife of the bishop) the Revised Version margin, but as Moffat (Expositor’s Greek Testament) aptly renders, "that Jezebel of a woman alleging herself a prophetess." Some members of the church at Thyatira "under the sway of an influential woman refused to separate from the local guilds where moral interests, though not ostensibly defied, were often seriously compromised ..... Her lax principles or tendencies made for a connection with foreign and compromising associations which evidently exerted a dangerous influence upon some weaker Christians in the city." Her followers "prided themselves upon their enlightened liberalism (Re 2:24)." Moffat rejects both the view of Schurer (Theol. Abhandlungen, 39 f), that she is to be identified with the Chaldean Sibyl at Thyatira, and also that of Selwyn making her the wife of the local asiarch. "It was not the cults but the trade guilds that formed the problem at Thyatira." See also Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, section symbol 73, note 7; AHAB; BAAL; ELIJAH.

David Francis Roberts


je-ze’-lus, jez’-e-lus (Iezelos):

(1) In 1 Esdras 8:32; called "Jahaziel" in Ezr 8:5.

(2) In 1 Esdras 8:35; called "Jehiel" in Ezr 8:9.


je’-zer (yecher, "form" or "purpose"): A "son" of Naphtali (Ge 46:24; Nu 26:49; 1Ch 7:13).


je’-zer-its, (ha-yitsri (collective with article)): Descendants of "Jezer" (Nu 26:49).





je’-zi-el, je-zi’-el (Kethibh is yezu’el, or yezo’el; Qere yezi’el =" God gathers," perhaps): One of David’s Benjamite recruits at Ziklag (1Ch 12:3).











jez’-re-el, jez’-rel (yizre‘e’l, "God soweth"):

(1) A city on the border of the territory of Issachar (Jos 19:18).

1. Territory:

It is named with Chesulloth and Shunem (modern Iksal and Solam). It remained loyal to the house of Saul, and is mentioned as part of the kingdom over which Abner set Ishbosheth (2Sa 2:9). From Jezreel came the tidings of Saul and Jonathan’s death on Gilboa, which brought disaster to Mephibosheth (2Sa 4:4). The city plays no important part in the history till the time of Ahab. Attracted, doubtless, by the fine position and natural charms of the place, he made it one of his royal residences, building here a palace (1Ki 21:1). This was evidently on the eastern wall; and the gate by which Jehu entered was over-looked by the quarters of Queen Jezebel (2Ki 9:30 f). The royal favor naturally enhanced the dignity of the city, and "elders" and "nobles" of Jezreel are mentioned (1Ki 21:8, etc.). Under the influence of Jezebel, an institution for the worship of Baal was founded here, from which, probably, the men were drawn who figured in the memorable contest with Elijah on Carmel (2Ki 10:11). "The tower in Jezreel" was part of the defenses of the city. It commanded a view of the approach up the valley from Beth-shean—the way followed by the hordes of the East, who, from time immemorial, came westward for the rich pasture of the plain (2Ki 9:17). It was necessary also to keep constant watch, as the district East of the Jordan was always more unsettled than that on the West; and danger thence might appear at any moment. The garden of Naboth seems to have lain to the East of the city (2Ki 9:21), near the royal domain, to which Ahab desired to add it as a garden of herbs (1Ki 21:1 ). See NABOTH. This was the scene of the tragic meetings between Elijah and Ahab (1Ki 21:17 ), and between Jehu and Joram and Ahaziah (2Ki 9:21). Joram had returned to Jezreel from Ramoth-gilead to be healed of his wounds (2Ki 9:15). By the gateway the dogs devoured Jezebel’s body (2Ki 9:31 ). Naboth had been stoned to death outside the city (1Ki 21:13). Josephus lays the scene by the fountain of Jezreel, and here, he says, the dogs licked the blood washed from the chariot of Ahab (Ant., VIII, xv, 6). This accords with 1Ki 21:19; but 22:38 points to the pool at Samaria.

2. Identification:

The site of Jezreel must be sought in a position where a tower would command a view of the road coming up the valley from Beth-shean. It has long been the custom to identify it with the modern village, Zer‘in, on the northwestern spur of Gilboa. This meets the above condition; and it also agrees with the indications in Eusebius, Onomasticon as lying between Legio (Lejjun) and Scythopolis (Beisan). Recently, however, Professor A.R.S. Macalister made a series of excavations here, and failed to find any evidence of ancient Israelite occupation. This casts doubt upon the identification, and further excavation is necessary before any certain conclusion can be reached. For the "fountain which is in Jezreel," see HAROD, WELL OF.

(2) An unidentified town in the uplands of Judah (Jos 15:56), the home of Ahinoam (1Sa 27:3, etc.).

W. Ewing




jez’-re-el-it, jez’-rel-it ha-yizre‘e’li): applied to Naboth, a native of Jezreel (1) (1Ki 21:1, etc.).


jez’-re-el-it-es, jez’-rel-it-es (yizre‘e’lith, "of Jezreel," feminine): Applied to Ahinoam, one of David’s first two wives, a native of Jezreel in Judah (1Sa 27:3; 30:5; 2Sa 2:2; 3:2; 1Ch 3:1).


jez-ri-e’-lus (Iezrielos; the King James Version Hierielus; 1 Esdras 9:27): Corresponding to "Jehiel" in Ezr 10:26.





jid’-laf (yidhlaph perhaps "he weeps"): A "son" of Nahor (Ge 22:22).


jim’-na (yimnah, perhaps equals "good fortune"): A "son" of Asher (Ge 46:17, the King James Version "Jimnah"; Nu 26:44, the King James Version "Jimna"), whereas the Revised Version (British and American) has IMNAH (which see).


jim’-nits, (same as "Jimna," only collective with the definite article; Nu 26:44 the King James Version, where the Revised Version (British and American) has "Imnites"): Descendants of Jimna or Imna.


jif’-ta (yiphtach).






jo’-ab (yo’-abh, "Yahweh is father"; Ioab):

(1) Son of Zeruiah, David’s sister. He was "captain of the host" (compare 2Sa 19:13) under David.

1. Joab and Abner:

(a) Joab is first introduced in the narrative of the war with Abner, who supported the claims of Ishbosheth to the throne against those of David (2Sa 2:8-3:1). The two armies met, and on Abner’s suggestion a tournament took place between 12 men from each side; a general engagement follows, and in this Joab’s army is victorious. Asahel, Joab’s brother, is killed in his pursuit of Abner, but the latter’s army is sorely pressed, and he appeals to Joab for a cessation of hostilities. Joab calls a halt, but declares that he would not cease had Abner not made his plea.

(b) 2Sa 3:12-29. Abner visits David at Hebron, and makes an alliance with David. He then leaves the town, apparently under royal protection. Joab is absent at the time, but returns immediately after Abner’s departure, and expostulates with David for not avenging Asahel’s death, and at the same time attributes a bad motive to Abner’s visit. He sends a message, no doubt in the form of a royal command, for Abner to return; the chief does so, is taken aside "into the midst of the gate" (or as Septuagint and commentators read, "into the side of the gate," 2Sa 3:27), and slain there by Joab. David proclaims his own innocence in the matter, commands Joab as well as the people to mourn publicly for the dead hero (2Sa 3:31), composes a lament for Abner, and pronounces a curse upon Joab and his descendants (2Sa 3:30 is regarded as an editorial note, and commentators change 2Sa 3:39).

2. The Ammonite War: Death of Uriah:

(a) 2Sa 10:1-14; 1Ch 19:1-15. David sends ambassadors with his good wishes to Hanun on his ascending the throne of the Ammonites; these are ill-treated, and war follows, David’s troops being commanded by Joab. On finding himself placed between the Ammonites on the one hand, and their Syrian allies on the other, he divides his army, and himself leads one division against the Syrians, leaving Abishai, his brother, to fight the Ammonites; the defeat of the Syrians is followed by the rout of the ammonites.

(b) 2Sa 10:15-19; 1Ch 19:16-19 describes a second war between Hadarezer and David. Joab is not mentioned here.

(c) 2Sa 11:1 narrates the resumption of the war against the Ammonites; Joab is in command, and the town of Rabbah is besieged. Here occurs the account of David’s sin with Bathsheba, omitted by Chronicles. David gets Joab to send Uriah, her husband, to Jerusalem, and when he refuses to break the soldier’s vow (11:6-13), Joab is used to procure Uriah’s death in the siege, and the general then sends news of it to David (11:14-27). After capturing the ‘water-city’ of Rabbah, Joab sends for David to complete the capture and lead the triumph himself (12:26-29).

3. Joab and Absalom:

(a) The next scene depicts Joab attempting and succeeding in his attempt to get Absalom restored to royal favor. He has noticed that "the king’s heart is toward Absalom" (2Sa 14:1), and so arranges for "a wise woman" of Tekoa to bring a supposed complaint of her own before the king, and then rebuke him for his treatment of Absalom. The plan succeeds. David sees Joab’s hand in it, and gives him permission to bring Absalom to Jerusalem. But the rebel has to remain in his own house, and is not allowed to see his father (2Sa 14:1-24).

(b) Absalom attempts to secure Joab’s intercession for a complete restoration to his father’s confidence. Joab turns a deaf ear to the request until his field is put on fire by Absalom’s command. He then sees Absalom, and gets David to receive his prodigal son back into the royal home (2Sa 14:28-33).

(c) Absalom revolts, and makes Amasa, another nephew of David, general instead of Joab (2Sa 17:24 f). David flees to Mahanaim, followed by Absalom. Joab is given a third of the army, the other divisions being led by Abishai and Ittai. He is informed that Absalom has been caught in a tree (or thicket), and expostulates with the informer for not having killed him. Although he is reminded of David’s tender plea that Absalom be kindly dealt with, he dispatches the rebel himself, and afterward calls for a general halt of the army. When David gives vent to his feelings of grief, he is sternly rebuked by Joab, and the rebuke has its effect (2Sa 17-19:8).

4. Joab and Amasa:

2Sa 19:8 b-15. On David’s return to Jerusalem, Amasa is made "captain of the host" instead of Joab (19:13). Then Sheba revolts, Amasa loses time in making preparation for quelling it, and Abishai is bidden by David to take the field (20:6). The Syriac version reads "Joab" for "Abishai" in this verse, and some commentators follow it, but Septuagint supports Massoretic Text. Joab seems to have accompanied Abishai; and when Amasa meets them at Gibeon, Joab, on pretense of kissing his rival, kills him. He then assumes command, is followed by Amasa’s men, and arranges with a woman of Abel beth-maacah to deliver to him Sheba’s head. The revolt is then at an end.

5. Joab’s Death:

Joab subsequently opposed David’s suggestion of a census, but eventually carried it out (2Sa 24:1-9; 1Ch 21:1-6), yet 1Ch 21:6 and 27:24 relate that he did not carry it out fully. He was one of Adonijah’s supporters in his claim to the throne (1Ki 1:7,19,41). For this he had to pay the penalty with his life, being slain at the altar in the "Tent of Yahweh" (1Ki 2:28-34) by Benaiah, who acted upon Solomon’s orders. His murderer became his successor as head of the army. 1Ki 2:5 makes David advise Solomon not to forget that Joab slew Abner and Amasa, and 1Ki 11:14-22 contains a reference to the dread of his name in Edom. 1Ch 11:6 makes him win his spurs first at the capture of Jerusalem, but 2Sa 2; 3 are previous in time to this event (compare 2Sa 5:6-10), and 1Ch 11:8 makes him repair the city, while 1Ch 26:28 refers to a dedication of armor by him.

6. Joab’s Character:

In summing up Joab’s character, we must remember the stirring times in which he lived. That he was a most able general, there is no doubt. He was, however, very jealous of his position, and this accounts for Amasa’s murder, if not partially for that of Abner too: if he was afraid that Abner would supplant him, that fear may be held to be justified, for Amasa, who had not been too loyal to David did take Joab’s place for a time. But blood revenge for Asahel’s death was perhaps the chief cause. Yet even when judged in the light of those rough times, and in the light of eastern life, the murder of Abner was a foul, treacherous deed (see Trumbull, Studies in Oriental Social Life, 129-31).

Joab opposed the census probably because it was an innovation. His rebuke of David’s great grief over Absalom’s death can only be characterized as just; he is the stern warrior who, after being once merciful and forgiving, will not again spare a deceitful rebel; and yet David shows how a father’s conduct toward a prodigal, rebellious son is not regulated by stern justice. Joab’s unswerving loyalty to David leads one to believe that no disloyalty was meant by his support of Adonijah, who was really the rightful heir to the throne. But their plans were defeated by those of the harem, and Joab had to pay the price with his life.

Taken as a whole, his life, as depicted in the very reliable narrative of 2Sa and 1 Ki, may be said to be as characteristic of the times as that of David himself, with a truly Homeric ring about it. He was a great man, great in military prowess and also in personal revenge, in his loyalty to the king as well as in his stern rebuke of his royal master. He was the greatest of David’s generals, and the latter’s success and glory owed much to this noblest of that noble trio whom Zeruiah bore.

(2) A Judahite, father or founder of Ge-harashim (1Ch 4:14, "valley of craftsmen" the Revised Version margin).


(3) A family of returned exiles (Ezr 2:6 parallel Ne 7:11; Ezr 8:9; RAPC 1Es 8:35).


David Francis Roberts


jo’-a-kaz (Iochaz, Iechonias): Son of Josiah (1 Esdras 1:34). In Mt 1:11 "Jechoniah" is the reading.





jo-a-da’-nus (Ioadanos: In 1 Esdras 9:19, apparently, through some corruption; the same as Gedaliah, a son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, in Ezr 10:18.


jo’-a (yo’ach, "Yahweh is brother"):

(1) Son of Asaph and recorder under King Hezekiah (2Ki 18:18,26; Isa 36:3,11,22); he was one of the 3 officers sent by the king to speak to the Assyrian envoys at the siege of Jerusalem (circa 701 BC).

(2) In 1Ch 6:21 (Hebrew 6); 2Ch 29:12, a Levite (son of Zimmah) =" Ethan" of 1Ch 6:42 (Hebrew 27).

(3) a son of Obed-edom (1Ch 26:4).

(4) Son of Joahaz and recorder under King Josiah (2Ch 34:8).


jo’-a-haz (yo’-achaz, "Yahweh has grasped" =" Jehoahaz"):

(1) Father of JOAH (4) (2Ch 34:8).

(2) the Revised Version (British and American) and Hebrew in 2Ki 14:1 for Jehoahaz, king of Israel.


(3) the Revised Version (British and American) and Hebrew in 2Ch 36:2,4 for JEHOAHAZ, king of Judah (which see).


jo’-a-kim (Ioakeim; the King James Version Joacim):

(1) Jehoiakim, king of Judah and Jerusalem (1 Esdras 1:37-39; Baruch 1:3).

(2) Jehoiachin, son of (1) (1 Esdras 1:43).

(3) Son of Jeshua (1 Esdras 5:5), called by mistake son of Zerubbabel; in Ne 12:10,26 his name occurs as in 1 Esdras, among the priests and Levitea who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel.

(4) High priest of Jerusalem in the time of Baruch (Baruch 1:7).

(5) High priest in Jerusalem in the days of Judith who, along with "the ancients of the children of Israel," welcomed the heroine back to the city after the death of Holofernes (Judith 4). He cannot be identified with any of the high priests in the lists given in 1 Chronicles or in Josephus, Ant, X, viii, 6. The word means "the Lord hath set up." It is probably symbolical, and tends with other names occurring in the narrative to establish the supposition that the book was a work of imagination composed to support the faith of the Jews in times of stress and difficulty.

(6) The husband of Susanna (Susanna verses 1 ff), perhaps here also a symbolical name.

J. Hutchison


jo-a’-nan (Westcott-Hort, Greek New Testament, Ioanan; Textus Receptus of the New Testament, Ioanna; the King James Version, Joanna):

(1) A grandson of Zerubbabel in the genealogy of Jesus according to Luke (3:27).

(2) The son of Eliasib (1 Esdras 9:1 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "Jonas").


jo-an’-a (Ioana, or Ioanna): The wife of Chuzas, Herod’s steward. She was one of the "women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities" which "ministered unto him (King James Version, i.e. Jesus, or "them" the Revised Version (British and American), i.e. Jesus and His disciples) of their substance," on the occasion of Jesus’ tour through Galilee (Lu 8:2,3). Along with other women she accompanied Jesus on His last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, and was present when His body was laid in the sepulcher (Lu 23:55). She was thus among those who prepared spices and ointments, who found the grave empty, and who "told these things unto the apostles" (Lu 23:56-24:10).

C. M. Kerr


jo-an’-es, jo-an’-ez (Ioannes; the King James Version, Johannes):

(1) Son of Acatan (1 Esdras 8:38), called also "Johanan" in Ezr 8:12.

(2) Son of Bebai (1 Esdras 9:29), called "Jehohanan" in Ezr 10:28.


jo’-a-rib (Ioarib; the King James Version Jarib): Ancestor of Mattathias (1 Macc 14:29), given as "Joarib" in the King James Version of 1 Macc 2:1; he was chief of the first of the 24 courses of priests in the reign of David. Varieties of the name are Jarib, Joarib, and Jehoiarib (1Ch 24:7).


jo’-ash (yo’ash, "Yahweh is strong" or "Yahweh has bestowed"; Ioas):

(1) Father of Gideon, of the clan of Abiezer and the tribe Manasseh (Jud 6:11,29,30,31; 7:14; 8:13,19,32). Gideon declares (Jud 6:15) that the family is the poorest in Manasseh, words similar to those of Saul (1Sa 9:21), and not to be taken too literally. Joash would be a man of standing and wealth, for Gideon was able to command 10 servants to destroy the altar and the Asherah (Jud 6:27,34), and also to summon the whole clan to follow him. Further, the altar that Joash had was that used by the community (Jud 6:28), so that he would be the priest, not only of his own family qua paterfamilias, but also of the community in virtue of his position as chief. When Gideon destroyed the altar and the Asherah or sacred pillar by it, Joash refused to deliver his son to death, declaring that Baal, if he was a god, should avenge himself (compare Elijah in 1Ki 18).

(2) Called "the king’s son" (1Ki 22:26; 2Ch 18:25; compare Jer 36:26; 38:6), or, less probably, "the son of Hammelech," the Revised Version margin; perhaps a son of Ahab. Micaiah the prophet was handed over to his custody and that of Amon by Ahab.

(3) A Judahite, descendant of Shelah (1Ch 4:22).

(4) A Benjamite recruit of David at Ziklag. Commentators read here, "Joash the son of Shemaiah (or Jehoshamai), the Gibeathite" (1Ch 12:3).

(5) In 2Ki 11:2, etc. = Jehoash, king of Judah.

(6) In 2Ki 13:9, etc. = Jehoash, king of Northern Israel.

David Francis Roberts


(yo‘ash, "Yahweh has aided"):

(1) A Benjamite, or, more probably, a Zebulunite (1Ch 7:8).

(2) One of David’s officers; Joash was "over the cellars of oil" (1Ch 27:28).


jo’-a-tham (Ioatham): the King James Version for the Revised Version (British and American) "Jotham" (Mt 1:9).

See JOTHAM (the king).


job (’iyobh, meaning of name doubtful; some conjecturing "object of enmity," others "he who turns," etc., to God; both uncertain guesses; Iob): The titular hero of the Book of Job, represented as a wealthy and pious land-holder who lived in patriarchal times, or at least conditions, in the land of Uz, on the borders of Idumea. Outside of the Book of Job he is mentioned by Ezekiel (Eze 14:14,20) as one of 3 great personages whose representative righteousness would presumably avail, if that of any individuals could, to redeem the nation; the other two being Noah, an ancient patriarch, and Daniel, a contemporary of the prophet. It is difficult to determine whether Job was an actual personage or not. If known through legend, it must have been on account of some such experience as is narrated in the book, an experience unique enough to have become a potent household word; still, the power and influence of it is due to the masterly vigor and exposition of the story. It was the Job of literature, rather than the Job of legend, who lived in the hearts of men; a character so commanding that, albeit fictitious, it could be referred to as real, just as we refer to Hamlet or Othello. It is not the way of Hebrew writers, however, to evolve literary heroes from pure imagination; they crave an authentic basis of fact. It is probable that such a basis, in its essential outlines, existed under the story of Job. It is not necessary to suppose, however, that the legend or the name was known to Israel from ancient times. Job is introduced (Job 1:1) as if he had not been known before. The writer, who throughout the book shows a wide acquaintance with the world, doubtless found the legend somewhere, and drew its meanings together for an undying message to his and all times.

John Franklin Genung



1. Place in the Canon

2. Rank and Readers


1. Setting of Time, Place and Scene

2. Characters and Personality

3. Form and Style


A) To Job’s Blessing and Curse

1. His "Autumn Days"

2. The Wager in Heaven

3. The Silent Friends

4. Whose Way Is Hid

B) To Job’s Ultimatum of Protest

1. The Veiled Impeachment

2. Wisdom Insipid, Friends Doubtful

3. Crookedness of the Order of Things

4. No Mediation in Sight

C) To Job’s Ultimatum of Faith

1. Detecting the Friends’ False Note

2. Staking Everything on Integrity

3. "If a Man Die"

4. The Surviving Next of Kin

D) To Job’s Verdict on Things as They Are

1. Climax and Subsidence of the Friends’ Charge

2. The Real Cause of Job’s Dismay

3. Manhood in the Ore

4. Job Reads His Indictment

E) The Denouement

1. The Self-constituted Interpreter

2. The Whirlwind and the Voice

3. The Thing That Is Right

4. The Restored Situation


1. Beyond the Didactic Tether

2. What Comes of Limiting the Purpose

3. The Book’s Own Import of Purpose

4. Problem of the Intrinsic Man


1. Shadowy Contacts with History

2. Place in Biblical Literature

3. Parallels and Echoes


I. Introductory.

1. Place in the Canon:

The greatest production of the Hebrew Wisdom literature, and one of the supreme literary creations of the world. Its place in the Hebrew Canon corresponds to the high estimation in which it was held; it stands in the 3rd section, the "writings" (kethubhim) or Hagiographa, next after the two great anthologies Psalms and Proverbs; apparently put thus near the head of the list for weighty reading and meditation. In the Greek Canon (which ours follows), it is put with the poetical books, standing at their head. It is one of 3 Scripture books, the others being Psalms and Proverbs, for which the later Hebrew scholars (the Massoretes) employed a special system of punctuation to mark its poetic character.

2. Rank and Readers:

The Book of Job was not one of the books designated for public reading in the synagogues, as were the Pentateuch and the Prophets, or for occasional reading at feast seasons, as were the 5 megilloth or rolls. It was rather a book for private reading, and one whose subject-matter would appeal especially to the more cultivated and thoughtful classes. Doubtless it was all the more intimately valued for this detachment from sanctuary associations; it was, like Proverbs, a people’s book; and especially among the cultivators of Wisdom it must have been from its first publication a cherished classic. At any rate, the patriarch Job (though whether from the legend or from the finished book is not clear; see JOB) is mentioned as a well-known national type by Eze 14:14,20; and James, writing to Jewish Christians (5:11), refers to the character of patriarch as familiar to his readers. It was as one of the great classic stories of their literature, rather than as embodying a ritual or prophetic standard, that it was so universally known and cherished.

II. The Literary Framework.

In view of the numerous critical questions by which the interpretation of the book has been beclouded—questions of later alterations, additions, corruptions, dislocations—it may be well to say at the outset that what is here proposed is to consider the Book of Job as we have it before us today, in its latest and presumably definitive edition. It will be time enough to remove excrescences when a fair view of the book as it is, with its literary values and relations, makes us sure that there are such; see III, below. Meanwhile, as a book that has reached a stage so fixed and finished that at any rate modern tinkering cannot materially change it, we may consider what its literary framework does to justify itself. And first of all, we may note that preeminently among Scripture books it bears the matured literary stamp; both in style and structure it is a work, not only of spiritual edification, but of finished literary article This may best be realized, perhaps, by taking it, as from the beginning it purports to be, as a continuously maintained story, with the consistent elements of plot, character scheme, and narrative movement which we naturally associate with a work of the narrator’s article

1. Setting of Time, Place and Scene:

The story of the Book of Job is laid in the far-off patriarchal age, such a time as we find elsewhere represented only in the Book of Genesis; a time long before the Israelite state, with its religious, social and political organization, existed. Its place is "the land of Uz," a little-known region Southeast of Palestine, on the borders of Edom; a place remote from the ways of thinking peculiar to Israelite lawgivers, priests and prophets. Its scene is in the free open country, among mountains, wadies, pasture-lands, and rural towns, where the relations of man and man are more elemental and primitive, and where the things of God are more intimately apprehended than in the complex affairs of city and state. It is easy to see what the writer gains by such a choice of setting. The patriarchal conditions, wherein the family is the social and communal unit, enable him to portray worship and conduct in their primal elements: religious rites of the simplest nature, with the family head the unchallenged priest and intercessor (compare Job 1:4,5; 42:8), and without the austere exactions of sanctuary or temple; to represent God, as in the old folk-stories, as communicating with men in audible voice and in tempest; and to give to the patriarch or sheikh a function of counsel and succor in the community analogous to that of the later wise man or sage (compare Job 29). The place outside the bounds of Palestine enables him to give an international or rather intercommunal tissue to his thought, as befits the character of the wisdom with which he is dealing, a strain of truth which Israel could and did share with neighbor nations. This is made further evident by the fact that in the discourses of the book, the designation of God is not Yahweh (with one exception, Job 12:9), but ‘Elohim or ‘Eloah or Shaddai, appellatives rather than names, common to the Semitic peoples. The whole archaic scene serves to detach the story from complex conditions of civilization, and enables the writer to deal with the inherent and intrinsic elements of manhood.

2. Characters and Personality:

All the characters of the story, Job included, are from non-Palestinian regions. The chief spokes-man of the friends, Eliphaz, who is from Teman, is perhaps intended to represent a type of the standard and orthodox wisdom of the day; Teman, and Edom in general being famed for wisdom (Jer 49:7; Obadiah 1:8,9). The characters of the friends, while representing in general a remarkable uniformity of tenet, are quite aptly individualized: Eliphaz as a venerable and devout sage who, with his eminent penetrativeness of insight, combines a yearning compassion; Bildad more as a scholar versed in the derived lore of tradition; and Zophar more impetuous and dogmatic, with the dogmatist’s vein of intolerance. In Elihu, the young Aramean who speaks after the others, the writer seems endeavoring to portray a young man’s positiveness and absoluteness of conviction, and with it a self-conceit that quite outruns his ability. The Satan of the Prologue, who makes the wager with Yahweh, is masterfully individualized, not as the malignant tempter and enemy of mankind, but as a spirit compact of impudent skepticism, who can appreciate no motive beyond self-advantage. Even the wife of Job, with her peremptory disposition to make his affliction a personal issue with God, is not without an authentic touch of the elemental feminine. But high above them all is the character of Job himself, which, with all its stormy alternations of mood, range of assertion and remonstrance and growth of new conviction, remains absolutely consistent with itself. Nor can we leave unmentioned what is perhaps the hardest achievement of all, the sublime venture of giving the very words of God, in such a way that He speaks no word out of character nor measures His thought according to the standards of men.

3. Form and Style:

The Prologue, Job 1 and 2, a few verses at the beginning of chapter 32 (verses 1-6a), and the Epilogue (42:7-17) are written in narrative prose. The rest of the book (except the short sentences introducing the speakers) is in poetry; a poetic tissue conforming to the type of the later mashal (see under PROVERB), which, in continuous series of couplets, is admirably adapted alike to imaginative sublimity and impassioned address. Beginning with Job’s curse of his day (Job 3), Job and his three friends answer each other back and forth in three rounds of speeches, complete except that, for reasons which the subject makes apparent, Zophar, the third friend, fails to speak the third time. After the friends are thus put to silence, Job speaks three times in succession (Job 26:1-31:40), and then "the words of Job are ended." At this point (Job 32) a fourth speaker, Elihu, hitherto unmentioned, is introduced and speaks four times, when he abruptly ceases in terror at an approaching whirlwind (37:24). Yahweh speaks from the whirlwind, two speeches, each of which Job answers briefly (40:3-5; 42:1-6), or rather declines to answer. Such, which we may summarize in Prologue (Job 1; 2), Body of Discussion (3-42:6), and Epilogue (42:7-17), is the literary framework of the book. The substance of the book is in a way dramatic; it cannot, however, be called so truly a drama as a kind of forum of debate; its movement is too rigid for dramatic action, and it lacks besides the give-and-take of dialogue. In a book of mine published some years ago I ventured to call it "the Epic of the Inner Life," epic not so much in the technical sense, as in recognition of an underlying epos which for fundamental significance may be compared to the story underlying the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus. It will not do, however, to make too much of either of these forms as designating the Book of Job; either term has to be accommodated almost out of recognition, because the Hebrew literary forms were not conceived according to the Greek categories from which our terms "epic" and "dramatic" are derived. A greater limitation on our appreciation of its form, I think, is imposed by those who regard it as a mixture of forms. It is too generally divided between narrative and didactic debate. To the Hebrew mind it was all a continuous narrative, in which the poetic discussion, though overweighting the current of visualized action, had nevertheless the movement and value of real events. It is in this light, rather than in the didactic, that we may most profitably regard it.

III. The Course of the Story.

To divide the story of Job into 42 parts, according to the 42 numbered chapters, is in the last degree arbitrary. Nothing comes of it except convenience in reading for those who wish to take their Job in little detached bits. The chapter division was no part of the original, and a very insignificant step in the later apprehension of the original. To divide according to the speeches of the interlocutors is better; it helps us realize how the conflict of views brought the various phases of the thought to expression; but this too, with its tempting, three-times-three, turns out to be merely a framework; it corresponds only imperfectly with the true inwardness of the story’s movement; it is rather a scheme than a continuity. We are to bear in mind that this Book of Job is fundamentally the inner experience of one man, as he rises from the depths of spiritual gloom and doubt to a majestic table-land of new insight and faith; the other characters are but ancillary, helps and foils, whose function is subordinate and relative. Hence, mindful of this inwardness of Job’s experience, I have ventured to trace the story in 5 main stages, naming them according to the landing-stage attained in each.

A) To Job’s Blessing and Curse:

1. His "Autumn Days":

The story begins (Job 1:1-5) with a brief description of Job as he was before his trial began; the elements of his life, outer and inner, on which is to be raised the question of motive. A prosperous landholder of the land of Uz, distinguished far and wide as the greatest (i.e. richest) of the sons of the East, his inner character corresponds: to all appearance nothing lacking, a man "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil." The typical Hebrew blessings of life were his to the full: wealth, honor, health, family. He is evidently set before us as the perfect example of the validity of the established Wisdom-tenet, that righteousness and Wisdom are identical (see under PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF), and that this is manifest in its visible rewards. This period of his life Job describes afterward by retrospect as his "autumn days," when the friendship or intimacy (coah) of God was over his tent (see 29:4, and the whole chapter). Nor are we left without a glimpse into his heart: his constant attitude of worship, and his tender solicitude lest, in their enjoyment of the pleasures of life, his sons may have been disloyal to God (Job 1:4,5). It is easy to see that not Job alone, but Wisdom as embodied in Job, is postulated here for its supreme test.

2. The Wager in Heaven:

Nor is the test delayed, or its ground ambiguous when it comes. Satan proposes it. Two scenes are given (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6) from the court of God, wherever that is; for they are overheard by the reader, not seen, and of course neither Job nor any inhabitant of earth is aware of them. In these scenes the sons of God, the spirits who rejoiced over creation (38:7), are come together to render report, and Satan, uninvited, enters among them. He is a wandering spirit, unanchored to any allegiance, who roams through the earth, prying and criticizing. There is nothing, it would seem, in which he cannot find some flaw or discount. To Yahweh’s question if he has considered Job, the man perfect and upright, he makes no denial of the fact, but raises the issue of motive: "Doth Job fear God for nought?" and urges that Job’s integrity is after all only a transparent bargain, a paying investment with only reward in view. It is virtually an arraignment both of God’s order and of the essential human character: of God’s order in connecting righteousness so intimately with gain; and of the essential human character, virtually denying that there is such a thing as disinterested, intrinsic human virtue. The sneer strikes deep, and Job, the perfect embodiment of human virtue, is its designated victim. Satan proposes a wager, to the issue of which Yahweh commits Himself. The trial of Job is carried out in two stages: first against his property and family, with the stipulation that it is not to touch him; and then, this failing to detach him from his allegiance, against his person in sore disease, with the stipulation that his life is to be spared. Yahweh acknowledges that for once He is consenting to an injustice (2:3), and Satan, liar that he is, uses instrumentalities that men have ascribed to God alone: the first time, tempest and lightning (as well as murderous foray), the second time, the black leprosy, a fell disease, loathsome and deadly, which, in men’s minds meant the immediate punitive stroke of God. The evil is as absolute as was the reward; a complete reversal of the order in which men’s wisdom had come to trust. But in the immediate result, Yahweh’s faith in His noblest creature is vindicated. Urged by his wife in his extremity to "curse God and die," Job remains true to his allegiance; and in his staunch utterance, "Yahweh gave, and Yahweh hath taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh," Job, as the writer puts it, ‘sinned not, nor attributed aught unbeseeming (tiphalah, literally, "tasteless") to God.’ Such is the first onset of Job’s affliction and its result. It remains to be seen what the long issue, days and months of wretchedness, will bring forth.

3. The Silent Friends:

We are now to imagine the lapse of some time, perhaps several months (compare Job 7:3), during which Job suffers alone, an outcast from house and society, on a leper’s ash-heap. Meanwhile three friends of his who have heard of his affliction make an appointment together and come from distant regions to give him sympathy and comfort (2:11-13). On arriving, however, they find things different from what they had expected; perhaps the ominous nature of his disease has developed since they started. What they find is a man wretched and outcast, with a disease (elephantiasis) which to them can mean nothing but the immediate vengeance of God. The awful sight gives them pause. Instead of condoling with him, they sit silent and dismayed, and for seven days and nights no word is spoken (compare Isa 53:3). What they were debating with themselves during that time is betrayed by the after-course of the story. How can they bless one whom God has stamped with His curse? To do so would be taking sides with the wicked. Is it not rather their duty to side with God, and be safe, and let sympathy go? By this introduction of the friends and their averted attitude, the writer with consummate skill brings a new element into the story, the element of the Wisdom-philosophy; and time will show whether as a theoretical thing, cold and intellectual, it will retain or repress the natural outwelling of human friendship. And this silence is ominous.

4. Whose Way Is Hid:

The man who, in the first onset of trial, blessed Yahweh and set himself to bear in silence now opens his mouth to curse. His curse is directed, not against Yahweh nor against the order of things, but against the day of his birth. It is a day that has ceased to have meaning or worth for him. The day stands for life, for his individual life, a life that in the order of things should carry out the personal promise and fruitage for which it had been bestowed. And his quarrel with it is that he has lost its clue. Satan unknown to him has sneered because Yahweh had hedged him round with protection and favor (Job 1:10); but his complaint is that all this is removed without cause, and God has hedged him round with darkness. His way is hid (Job 3:23). Why then was life given at all? In all this, it will be noted, he raises no train of introspection to account for his condition; he assumes no sinfulness, nor even natural human depravity; the opposite rather, for a baffling element of his case is his shrinking sensitiveness against evil and disloyalty (compare Job 3:25,26, in which the tenses should be past, with 1:5; see also 6:30; 16:17). His plight has become sharply, poignantly objective; his inner self has no part in it. Thus in this opening speech he strikes the keynote of the real, against which the friends’ theories rage and in the end wreck themselves.

B) To Job’s Ultimatum of Protest:

1. The Veiled Impeachment:

With all the gentle regret of having to urge a disagreeable truth the friends, beginning with Eliphaz the wisest and most venerable, enter upon their theory of the case. Eliphaz covers virtually the whole ground; the others come in mainly to echo or emphasize. He veils his reproof in general and implicatory terms, the seasoned terms of wisdom in which Job himself is expert (4:3-5); reminds him that no righteous man perishes, but that men reap what they sow (4:7,8); adduces a vision that he had had which revealed to him that man, by the very fact of being mortal, is impure and iniquitous (4:17-19); implies that Job’s turbulence of mind precludes him from similar revelations, and jeopardizes his soul (5:1,2); advises him to commit his case to God, with the implication, however, that it is a case needing correction rather than justification, and that the result in view is restored comfort and prosperity. As Job answers with a more passionate and detailed portrayal of his wrong, Bildad, following, abandons the indirect impeachment and attributes the children’s death to their sin (8:4), saying also that if Job were pure and upright he might supplicate and regain God’s favor (8:5,6). He then goes on to draw a lesson from the traditional Wisdom lore, to the effect that sure destruction awaits the wicked and sure felicity the righteous (Job 8:11-22). On Job’s following this with his most positive arraignment of God’s order and claim for light, Zophar replies with impetuous heat, averring that Job’s punishment is less than he deserves (Job 11:6), and reproving him for his presumption in trying to find the secret of God (Job 11:7-12). All three of the friends, with increasing emphasis, end their admonitions in much the same way; promising Job reinstatement in God’s favor, but always with the veiled implication that he must own to iniquity and entreat as a sinner.

2. Wisdom Insipid, Friends Doubtful:

To the general maxims of Wisdom urged against him, with which he is already familiar (compare Job 13:2), Job’s objection is not that they are untrue, but that they are insipid (Job 6:6,7); they have lost their application to the case. Yet it is pain to him to think that the words of the Holy One should fail; he longs to die rather than deny them (Job 6:9,10). One poignant element of his sorrow is that the intuitive sense (tushiyah; see under PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF) is driven away from him; see Job 6:13. He is irritated by the insinuating way in which the friends beg the question of his guilt; longs for forthright and sincere words (6:25). It is this quality of their speech, in fact, which adds the bitterest drop to his cup; his friends, on whom he had counted for support, are deceitful like a dried-up brook (6:15-20); he feels, in his sick sensitiveness, that they are not sympathizing with him but using him for their cold, calculating purposes (6:27). Thus is introduced one of the most potent motives of the story, the motive of friendship; much will come of it when from the fallible friendships of earth he conquers his way by faith to a friendship in the unseen (compare 16:19; 19:27).

3. Crookedness of the Order of things:

With the sense that the old theories have become stale and pointless, though his discernment of the evil of things is undulled by sin (Job 6:30), Job arrives at an extremely poignant realization of the hardness and crookedness of the world-order, the result both of what the friends are saying and of what he has always held in common with them. It is the view that is forced upon him by the sense that he is unjustly dealt with by a God who renders no reasons, who on the score of justice vouchsafes to man neither insight nor recourse, and whose severity is out of all proportion to man’s sense of worth (7:17) or right (9:17) or claim as a creature of His hand (10:8-14). Job 9, which contains Job’s direct address to this arbitrary Being, is one of the most tremendous, not to say audacious conceptions in literature; in which a mortal on the threshold of death takes upon himself to read God a lesson in godlikeness. In this part of the story Job reaches his ultimatum of protest; a protest amazingly sincere, but not blasphemous when we realize that it is made in the interest of the Godlike.

4. No Mediation in Sight:

The great lack which Job feels in his arraignment of God is the lack of mediation between Creator and creature, the Oppressor and His victim. There is no umpire between them, who might lay his hand upon both, so that the wronged one might have voice in the matter (9:32-35). The two things that an umpire might do: to remove God’s afflicting hand, and to prevent God’s terror from unmanning His victim (see 13:20-22, as compared with the passage just cited), are the great need to restore normal and reciprocal relations with Him whose demand of righteousness is so inexorable. This umpire or advocate idea, thus propounded negatively, will grow to a sublime positive conviction in the next stage of Job’s spiritual progress (16:19; 19:25-27).)

C) To Job’s Ultimatum of Faith: 1. Detecting the Friends’ False Note:

As the friends finish their first round of speeches, in which a remote and arbitrary God is urged upon him as everything, and man so corrupt and blind that he cannot but be a worm and culprit (compare Job 25:4-6), Job’s eyes, which hitherto have seen with theirs, are suddenly opened. His first complaint of their professed friendship was that it was fallible; instead of sticking to him when he needed them most (Job 6:14), and in spite of his bewilderment (Job 6:26), they were making it virtually an article of traffic (Job 6:27), as if it were a thing for their gain. It was not sincere, not intrinsic to their nature, but an expedient. And now all at once he penetrates to its motive. They are deserting him in order to curry favor with God. That motive has prevented them from seeing true; they see only their theoretical God, and are respecting His person instead of responding to the inner dictate of truth and integrity. To his honest heart this is monstrous; they ought to be afraid of taking falseness for God (JOb 13:3-12). Nor does his inference stop with thus detecting their false note. If they are "forgers of lies" in this respect, what of all their words of wisdom? they have been giving him "proverbs of ashes" (Job 13:12); the note of false implication is in them all. From this point therefore he pays little attention to what they say; lets them go on to grossly exaggerated statement of their tenet, while he opens a new way of faith for himself, developing the germs of insight that have come to him.

2. Staking All on Integrity:

Having cut loose from all countenancing of the friends’ self-interested motives, Job now, with the desperate sense of taking his life in his hand and abandoning hope, resolves that come what will he will maintain his ways to God’s face. This, as he believes, is not only the one course for his integrity, but his one plea of salvation, for no false one shall appear before him. How tremendous the meaning of this resolve, we can think when we reflect how he has just taken God in hand to amend His supposed iniquitous order of things; and that he is now, without mediator, pleading the privilege that a mediator would secure (13:20,21; see 8, above) and urging a hearing on his own charges. The whole reach of his sublime faith is involved in this.

3. "If a Man Die":

In two directions his faith is reaching out; in both negatively at first. One, the belief in an Advocate, has already been broached, and is germinating from negative to positive. The other, the question of life after death, rises here in the same tentative way: using first the analogy of the tree which sprouts again after it is cut down (Job 14:7-9), and from it inquiring, ‘If a man die—might he live again?’ and dwelling in fervid imagination on the ideal solution which a survival of death would bring (Job 14:13-17), but returning to his reluctant negative, from the analogy of drying waters (Job 14:11) and the slow wearing down of mountains (Job 14:18,19). As yet he can treat the idea only as a fancy; not yet a hope or a grounded conviction.

4. The Surviving Next of Kin:

The conviction comes by a nobler way than fancy, by the way of his personal sense of the just and God-like order. The friends in their second round of speeches have begun their lurid portrayals of the wicked man’s awful fate; but until all have spoken again he is concerned with a far more momentous matter. Dismissing these for the present as an academic exercise composed in cold blood (Job 16:4,5), and evincing a heart hid from understanding (Job 17:4), Job goes on to recount in the most bitter terms he has yet used the flagrancy of his wrong as something that calls out for expiation like the blood of Cain (16:18), and breaks out with the conviction that his witness and voucher who will hear his prayer for mediation is on high (16:19-21). Then after Bildad in a spiteful retort has matched his complaint with a description of the calamities of the wicked (an augmented echo of Eliphaz), and he has pathetically bewailed the treachery of earthly friends (19:13,14,21,22), he mounts, as it were, at a bound to the sublime ultimatum of his faith in an utterance which he would fain see engraved on the rock forever (19:23-29). "I know that my Redeemer liveth," he exclaims; literally, my Go’el (go’ali), or next of kin, the person whose business in the old Hebrew idea was to maintain the rights of an innocent wronged one and avenge his blood. He does not recede from the idea that his wrong is from God (compare 19:6,21); but over his dust stands his next of kin, and as the result of this one’s intercession Job, in his own integral person, shall see God no more a stranger. So confident is he that he solemnly warns the friends who have falsely impeached him that it is they, not he, who are in peril (19:28,29; compare 13:10,11).

D) To Job’s Verdict on Things as They Are:

1. Climax and Subsidence of the Friends’ Charge:

That in this conviction of a living Redeemer Job’s faith has reached firm and final ground is evident from the fact that he does not recur to his old doubts at all. They are settled, and settled right. But now, leaving them, he can attend to what the friends have been saying. Zophar, the third speaker, following, presses to vehement, extreme their iterated portrayal of the wicked man’s terrific woes; it seems the design of the writer to make them outdo themselves in frantic overstatement of their thesis. As Zophar ceases, and Job has thus, as it were, drawn all their fire, Job refutes them squarely, as we shall presently see. Meanwhile, in the course of his extended refutation, the friends begin a third round of speeches. Eliphaz, who has already taken alarm at the tendency of Job’s words, as those of a depraved skeptic and ruinous to devotion (15:4-6), now in the interests of his orthodoxy brings in his bill of particulars. It is the kind of theoretical cant that has had large prevalence in dogmatic religion, but in Job’s case atrociously false. He accuses Job of the most heartless cruelties and frauds (22:5-11), and of taking occasion to indulge in secret wickedness when God was not looking (22:12-14); to this it is that he attributes the spiritual darkness with which Job is encompassed. Then in a beautiful exhortation—beautiful when we forget its unreal condition (22:23)—he ends by holding open to Job The way of reinstatement and peace. This is the last word of the friends that has any weight. Bildad follows Job’s next speech indeed very briefly (Job 25), giving a last feeble echo of their doctrine of total depravity; a reply which Job ridicules and carries on in a kind of parody (Job 26). Zophar does not speak a third time at all. He has nothing to say. And this silence of his is the writer’s way of making the friends’ theory subside ingloriously.

2. The Real Cause of Job’s Dismay:

The idea that Job has a defensible cause or sees farther than they is wholly lost on the friends; to them he is simply a wicked man tormented by the consciousness of guilt, and they attribute the tumult of his thoughts to a wrath, or vexation, which blinds and imperils his soul (compare 5:2; 18:4). That is not the cause of his dismay at all, nor is it merely that his personal fate is inscrutable (compare 23:17 margin). He is confounded rather, even to horror, because the probable facts of the world-order prove the utter falsity of all that they allege. Leaving his case, the righteous man’s, out of the account, he sees the wicked just as prosperous, just as secure, just as honored in life and death, as the righteous (21:5-15,29-33). The friends ought to see so plain a fact as well as he (21:29). To all outward appearance there is absolutely no diversity of fate between righteous and wicked (21:23-26). The friends’ cut-and-dried Wisdom-doctrine and their thrifty haste to justify God (compare 13:7,8) have landed them in a lie; the truth is that God has left His times mysterious to men (24:1). They may as well own to the full the baffling fact of the impunity of wickedness; the whole of Job 24 is taken up with details of it. Wisdom, with its rigid law of reward and punishment, has failed to penetrate the secret. A hard regime of justice, work and wage, conduct and desert, does not sound the deep truth of God’s dealings, either with righteous or wicked. What then? Shall Wisdom go, or shall it rise to a higher level of outlook and insight?

3. Manhood in the Ore:

In some such dim inquiry as this, it would seem, Job goes on from where his friends sit silenced to figure some positive solution of things as they are. He begins with himself and his steadfastly held integrity, sealing his utterance by the solemn Hebrew oath (27:2-6), and as solemnly disavowing all part or sympathy with the wicked (27:7; compare 21:16). He has already found a meaning in his own searching experience; he is being tried for a sublime assay, in which all that is permanent and precious in him shall come out as gold (23:10). But this thought of manhood in the ore is no monopoly of his; it may hold for all. What then of the wicked? In a passage which some have deemed the lost third speech of Zophar (27:8-23), and which, indeed, recounts what all the friends have seen (27:12), he sets forth the case of the wicked in its true light. The gist of it is that the wicked have not the joy of God (27:10), or the peace of a permanent hope. It is in much the same tone as the friends’ diatribes, but with a distinct advance from outward disaster toward tendency and futility. The ore is not being purged for a noble assay; and this will work their woe. Then finally, in the celebrated Job 28, comes up the summary of wisdom itself. That remains, after all this testing of motive, a thing intact and elemental; and man’s part in it is just what Job’s life has been, to fear God and shun evil (28:28).

4. Job Reads His Indictment:

As the crowning pronouncement on things as they are, Job in his final and longest speech, describes in a beautiful retrospect his past life, from his "autumn days" when the friendship of God was over his tent and he was a counselor and benefactor among men (Job 29), through this contrasted time of his wretchedness and curse-betraying disease, when the most degraded despise him (Job 30), until now as he draws consciously near the grave, he recoun